Bohemian Rhapsody becomes first classic track to reach a billion YouTube plays
Queen's 1975 hit Bohemian Rhapsody has become the first pre-1990s music video to reach one billion plays on YouTube. The six-minute long promo, which is often hailed as a pioneering example of the music video, hit the milestone over the weekend. YouTube bosses claim it is the first song released before the 1990s to make the milestone. To celebrate, the band is releasing a newly remastered high definition version of the clip on their YouTube channel on Monday and are also launching a project titled You Are the Champions, allowing fans the opportunity to take part in three new user-generated videos. "We are honoured that Bohemian Rhapsody has just hit one billion views on YouTube," bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor said in a statement posted on their website. Inviting fans to take part in their new project, they added: "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." Their initiative allows singers and instrumentalists to submit their take on Bohemian Rhapsody, dancers can work on a video for Don't Stop Me Now, and visual artists have been asked to design any word or phrase from the lyrics to A Kind of Magic. Queen's YouTube channel will feature the finished fan videos later this year. The band's already immense popularity received a boost following the success of their biopic, also titled Bohemian Rhapsody, which debuted last October, made more than $900 million (£720 million) at the box office and won four Oscars, including a Best Actor prize for Rami Malek's portrayal of frontman Freddie Mercury.