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Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is now the most-streamed song from the 20th century

Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury may have died, but his music lives on. One song, especially. “Bohemian Rhapsody” has become the most streamed song of the 20th century. (MARCO ARNDT / AP)
Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury may have died, but his music lives on. One song, especially. “Bohemian Rhapsody” has become the most streamed song of the 20th century. (MARCO ARNDT / AP)
Gina Salamone Tribune News Service

Any way the wind blows, classic rock band Queen reigns supreme – and even decades after frontman Freddie Mercury’s death.

The group’s 1975 hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” is now the most-streamed song from the 20th century, recently soaring past songs like Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” A-ha’s “Take on Me,” and Gun’s N’Roses’ “Sweet Child O’Mine” and “November Rain.”

It’s also the most-streamed classic rock song of all time, having racked up more than 1.6 billion streams around the world across all major streaming services, according to Universal Music Group, which represents Queen’s catalog outside North America.

The count includes streams of the original song and official music video.

“‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is one of the greatest songs by one of the greatest bands in history,” Universal Music Group’s CEO Sir Lucian Grainge said in a statement. “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.”

The six-minute song made up of several different-sounding sections has twice gotten a boost from blockbuster films. This year, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the film about the band released in October, became the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time. The song is heard several times in the film and appears on its soundtrack.

And in 1992’s “Wayne’s World,” Mike Myers (Wayne) and Dana Carvey (Garth) famously headbanged to the tune while driving.

“So the river of rock music has metamorphosed into streams,” Queen guitarist Brian May said in a statement. “Very happy that our music is still flowing to the max!”

Lead singer Freddie Mercury died at age 45 in 1991 due to complications from AIDS. The British band has been touring in recent years with “American Idol” alum Adam Lambert subbing in as frontman. They’ll be at the Tacoma Dome on July 12.

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