‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Becomes Most Streamed Song From the 20th Century

Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has been named the most streamed song from the 20th century, overtaking Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.

Following on from the success of this year’s Queen/Freddie Mercury bi-opic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, the titular song of which the title of the movie is based on, the track is as popular as ever and achieving this accolade highlights more than ever how timeless a song it really is.

It’s a song like no other. It’s six minutes long. Instead of conforming to a typical verse-chorus structure, it’s composed of several distinct passages, including an operatic section, a bit of ballad and hard rock. It’s unique and that’s what makes it so distinctive.

On Monday, the 1975 single, and its accompanying music video, reached 1.6 billion streams worldwide, overtaking Guns N’ Roses ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ and Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. Universal Music Group (UMG), who represent Queen, used all globally available streaming services, including services such as Spotify, Deezer and YouTube, to determine the song’s total streams and determine this outcome.

Following on from this announcement, Queen guitarist Brian May said: “So the river of rock music has metamorphosed into streams! Very happy that our music is still flowing to the max!”

Lucian Grainge, CEO of Queen’s label UMG said it was an “incredible achievement that is a testament to the enduring brilliance of Queen”. “My congratulations to Queen and manager Jim Beach on an incredible achievement that is a testament to the enduring brilliance of Queen.”

Well, I certainly know what I’m listening to this afternoon.


-The track was first released as a single on October 31, 1975

-“Bohemian Rhapsody” was Queen’s first Top 10 hit in the US. In the UK it went to #1 for 9 consecutive weeks, a record at the time.

-“Bohemian Rhapsody” is the only song in history ever to have topped the U.K. charts twice at Christmas.


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