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Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Becomes Most-Streamed Song from 20th Century

Members of rock band Queen from left to right are John Deacon, Brian May, Roger Taylor and Freddie Mercury in 1989. The band's 1975 song "Bohemian Rhapsody" has become the most-streamed song from the 20th century.
Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Becomes Most-Streamed Song from 20th Century
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Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is now the most-streamed song from the 20th century.

The 1975 song has been streamed over 1.6 billion times worldwide, the record company Universal Music Group said this week.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is long, energetic and operatic, and one of Queen’s most famous songs.

The song's popularity has risen thanks to the new “Bohemian Rhapsody” movie. In the five weeks since its release, the film has already earned more than $600 million in ticket sales worldwide. It has also helped bring the music of the British rock band to a new generation.

The film stars Rami Malek as Queen's lead singer Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991. Malek was nominated for a Golden Globe last week for his performance and is widely expected to get an Oscar nomination in January.

Universal uses streams on services including Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer, as well as streams from official videos on YouTube to measure streaming numbers.

Just behind “Bohemian Rhapsody” is Nirvana’s 1991 hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” with 1.5 billion streams.

It is followed by two songs by Guns N’ Roses: “Sweet Child O’Mine” and “November Rain.”

“Take On Me,” the 1986 hit from a-ha, is fifth.

I’m Ashley Thompson.

The Reuters news agency reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.


Words in This Story

stream - v. to push continuous data from a server to a computer while it is being used or played

ticket - n. ​a piece of paper that allows you to see a show, participate in an event, travel on a vehicle, etc.​

operatic - adj. of or relating to a kind of performance in which actors sing all or most of the words of a play with music performed by an orchestra