Recent years have seen the birth of an entirely new platform for music and in the past 20 years it has become the primary way many people are listening to music. With hundreds of millions of people now streaming music around the world the most streamed song from the 20th century is revealed and since everyone you meet knows all the lyrics when it comes on, it’s probably not a surprise.
Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody has been named the most streamed song from the 20th century. The number 1 hit from 1975 has been played over 1.6 billion times across streaming services like Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music to be the most popular song from the last century on this century’s new favourite method for music.
The track beat out Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit which came closely in second place with 1.5 billion total streams. Bohemian Rhapsody has been a hit since it came out but with the recently released and lauded Queen biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ the track has been re-enlivened. It’s entered the UK charts again and for the week of 22nd November the Queen classic was the 11th most streamed song around the world beating out contemporary hits.
Recognising the way the music industry has evolved in the 21st century, 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!” As well as Nirvana’s soundtrack of the 90’s Queen beat out two Guns N’ Roses tracks to top out the 5 most streamed songs of the 20th Century; ‘November Rain’ and ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’. Completing the top 5 is a-ha’s hit track Take on Me which has enjoyed lasting success from synthpop fans as well as complementing meme culture.
Universal Music Group’s CEO Lucian Grainge, Queen’s label, said the accolade was an “incredible achievement that is a testament to the enduring brilliance of Queen”.