Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Overtakes ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ to Become the Most-Streamed 20th Century Song

Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has also become the most-streamed classic rock song.

According to Universal Music Group (UMG), Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has now become the most-streamed song of the 20th century.

On December 10th, the song and official music video surpassed 1.6 billion streams around the world across all major streaming services, including YouTube and Spotify.

The feat comes just two months after the release of the musical biopic of the same name.  The movie has grossed over $596.9 million in the box office worldwide.

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ first came out on October 31st, 1975 on the group’s album, A Night at the Opera.  Following its release, the track became the group’s first Top 10 hit in the US.  ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ ranked #1 in the UK for nine straight weeks.

Speaking about the feat, Brian May, Queen’s guitarist and co-founder, said,

So the River of Rock Music has metamorphosed into streams!  Very happy that our music is still flowing to the max!

UMG CEO Lucian Grainge added,

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is one of the greatest songs by one of the greatest bands in history.  We are so proud to represent Queen and are thrilled to see the song still inspiring new fans around the world more than four decades after its release.  My congratulations to Queen and [longtime manager] Jim Beach on an incredible achievement that is a testament to the enduring brilliance of Queen.

UMG represents the group’s catalog outside of North America.  Through Bravado, the major label also provides support for global merchandise, retail licensing, and brand management.

Queen has sold over 300 million albums worldwide.

Queen’s song also beat out ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana, which now stands at No. 2 with 1.5 billion streams.  Guns N’ Roses ‘Sweet Child O Mine’ and ‘November Rain,’ along with A-ha’s ‘Take On Me,’ round out the top five.

In addition to today’s announcement, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ now ranks as the most-streamed classic rock song of all time.


Featured image by Chief Mouse (YouTube screengrab).

One Response

  1. Nicky Knight

    What does this suggest… people are sick & tired of songwriting hubs/camps/committees creating soundalike formula songs for soundalike playlists..

    Can’t anyone write a song on their own anymore..