Queen’s iconic music video for their 1975 hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” was confirmed as having been viewed one billion times on YouTube.

It’s the only video made before the ‘90s to have reached the milestone. Before the release of the Freddie Mercury biopic of the same name last year, the clip had been watched 666 million times since being posted in 2008, meaning that a third of the total views came after the movie.

On their website, Queen said the promo was “generally recognized as the first-ever promotional music video, kick-starting and setting the gold-standard for the genre for decades to come. Today it continues to inspire and entertain millions of fans around the world, more than forty years after it was first created.”

Tying in with the achievement, Queen launched a fan campaign titled "You Are the Champions," with submissions to be used in new videos for “Bohemian Rhapsody,��� “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “A Kind of Magic.”

Brian May and Roger Taylor said they were “honored” in a joint statement. “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!" they said. "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.”

Last year, Bruce Gowers – who shot the “Bohemian Rhapsody” video over four hours on a budget of £3,500, and said he’d been paid just £500 for his work – reported that he was considering legal action after discovering the band had continued to make use of the video in its live shows without making any further payment.

However, he reflected, “I didn’t think anyone was that into it for making money. It was a thrill to work with Queen, to do a music video and see it played on television, and I think a lot of other young directors who came after me felt the same. I feel they have been taken advantage of by the whole industry.”

Queen are currently on tour with Adam Lambert. Get more info here.

 

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