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Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Becomes Oldest Music Video to Get a Billion YouTube Views

The band is releasing a remastered "Bohemian" clip and sponsoring a new user-generated version to commemorate the milestone.

“Easy come, easy go” — that’s a phrase that has never applied to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” one of the most enduring recordings of the 20th century. The Queen classic just set a record by becoming the first music video released in the 1970s, or any time prior to the ’90s, to cross the billion-views mark on YouTube.

To commemorate the milestone, the two remaining original members of the group, Brian May and Roger Taylor, have teamed up with Universal Music and YouTube/Google for some fresh iterations of the 44-year-old single and video. One is a newly digitally remastered version of the original clip, which premiered on “Top of the Pops” in England in November 1975.

That vintage video polish job is being supplemented by the promise of three new “user-generated” videos to be made for three different Queen tracks, to be collated from submissions at the YouAreTheChampions.com website.

“We are honoured that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has just hit one billion views on YouTube,” Brian May and Roger Taylor said as part of the announcement. “We want to thank you all and celebrate with our amazing fans all around the world by creating three new music videos to our songs, all featuring you! Whether you are a musician, singer, dancer, visual artist or you just want to have some fun. Go to www.youarethechampions.com to find out more and we’ll see you on the road somewhere.” (Queen + Adam Lambert are on a long world tour that just included stops at the Forum in L.A.)

Dancers are being asked to submit their interpretations of “Don’t Stop Me Now” after watching an instructional video from Polly Bennett (who served as Rami Malek’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” movement coach). Visual artists get to offer any kind of take on lyrics or even individual words from “A Kind of Magic.” Singers and musicians aren’t being left out — the request directed at them is to reinterpret (surprise) “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The three videos resulting from this campaign will be release later in the year, according to YouTube.

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