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Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody crowned as most-streamed 20th-century song

Not just fantasy.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
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Sean Keane

Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see that Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody has been streamed 1.6 billion times.

The 1975 song, written by the late Freddie Mercury for the album A Night at the Opera, is the world's most-streamed song from the 20th century, Universal Music Group revealed Tuesday.

The number is based on streams of the song itself across Spotify, Apple Music and other services, as well as the iconic video on YouTube.

Photo of Brian MAY and Freddie MERCURY and QUEEN

Freddie Mercury and Brian May, Queen's singer and guitarist, are ready to do the Fandango.

Bob King/Redferns

It overtook Nirvana's 1991 song Smells Like Teen Spirit -- which had 1.5 billion streams, Digital Trends reports -- and Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child O'Mine from 1988 and November Rain from 1991.

"So the River of Rock Music has metamorphosed into streams! Very happy that our music is still flowing to the max!" Brian May, Queen's guitarist, founding member and outspoken USB-C critic, said in the release.

Essential to the song's streaming bump was the success of the critically acclaimed Mercury biopic of the same name. Star Rami Malek, who plays the singer, scored a Golden Globe nomination for his performance last week and the movie became the highest grossing music biopic in history after five weeks.

"Bohemian Rhapsody is one the greatest songs by one of the greatest bands in history," Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said in the release. "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."

Watch this: Bohemian Rhapsody will rock you, even if it's only half the story