Search form

Scroll To Top

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Is the Most Streamed Song From the 20th Century

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Is the Most Streamed Song From the 20th Century


The masterpiece has been played over 1.6 billion times across streaming devices.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? We may never be sure, but do know that Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" has become the most streamed song of the 20th century, surpassing Nirvana's 90's classic "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

The anthemic masterpiece reached Number 1 in the UK in 1975, and again in 1991 following Freddie Mercury's tragic death. With the November release of the eponymous film detailing the life of Freddie Mercury, the song has had yet another resurgence. As of the week of November 22, it was the 11th most-streamed song in the world on Spotify. To date, it's been played over 1.6 billion times across streaming devices.

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

In the statement, Lucian Grainge, CEO of Queen's label Universal Music Group, said it was an "incredible achievement that is a testament to the enduring brilliance of Queen."

While the true meaning of Bohemian Rhapsody remains elusive, theorists suggest the song is actually about Freddie's internal conflict embracing his sexuality. In an August op-ed for Pitchfork, writer and comedian Guy Branum claimed that because of the times, the song "couldn't be explicitly gay."

"Freddie Mercury, like all other gay guys, had this bundle of emotions that he could not let the world see directly, because if they saw, they would be horrified. He also needed to share them," Branum said.

Using cleverly disguised lyrics, "Bohemian Rhapsody" allowed Mercury to come out to the world in a manner that he felt comfortable with given the rampant homophobia of the era.

Twenty-seven years following the icon's death, a new generation of queers continue to gain inspiration from the rock legend and his music.


Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Zachary Zane