Queen’s 'Bohemian Rhapsody' video sets YouTube record

“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.

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Portrait of Tanzanian-born British musician Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara, 1946 - 1991) of the band Queen, London, England, 1967. (Photo by George Wilkes/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Freddie Mercury Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Freddie Mercury Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Freddie Mercury Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Rock group Queen pose for a group portrait in London, January 1973. (Clockwise from left) John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, Brian May and Roger Taylor. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Singer Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991) of British rock band Queen poses in London, England in 1973. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Singer-songwriter Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991) performing with British rock group Queen, 1974. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
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UNSPECIFIED - FEBRUARY 01: Photo of Freddie MERCURY and QUEEN; Freddie Mercury performing live on stage (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns)
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Drummer Roger Taylor and singer Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991) of British rock band Queen perform at the Playhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1st September 1976. (Photo by Gary Merrin/Keystone/Getty Images)
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OAKLAND - 1977: Freddie Mercury of Queen performs live at The Oakland Coliseum in 1977 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images)
Freddie Mercury of Queen, performing at the Omni. (Photo by Tom Hill/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of QUEEN; Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon, posed group portrait (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)
INGLEWOOD, CA - 1978: Singer Freddie Mercury and guitarist Brian May of the rock group Queen perform 'We Are The Champions' onstage during a 1978 Inglewood, California, concert at the Forum. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
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Freddie Mercury of the band Queen performs onstage at the Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois, September 19, 1980. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)
Freddie Mercury of Queen on 'Jazz Tour 1980' (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
From left to right, singer Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991) of British rock band Queen with his friend Mary Austin, circa 1983. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Singer Freddie Mercury sticks his tongue out while performing on stage with rock group Queen, 1984. He is wearing a red puma vest and white trousers. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Freddie Mercury on stage during Queen's performance at the Rock in Rio festival, Brazil, January 1985. The festival ran for 10 days and over 1 million people attended. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - : Photo of QUEEN; Posed studio group portait L-R Brian May, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon and Roger Taylor (Photo by John Rodgers/Redferns)
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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.)

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Rami Malek at the 2019 SAG Awards
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LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Rami Malek attends the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Rami Malek attends the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for People Magazine)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Rami Malek arrives at the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Michael B. Jordan (L) and Rami Malek attend the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for People Magazine)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Rami Malek, winner of Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' poses in the press room during the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Angela Bassett (L) and Rami Malek attend the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. 480720 (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Turner)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in 'Bohemian Rhapsody' winner Rami Malek poses in the press room during the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Rachel Weisz and Rami Malek, winner of Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role speak onstage during the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Rami Malek, winner of Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' poses in the press room during the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Rami Malek accepts award during the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. 480543 (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Turner)
Rami Malek accepts the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in 'Bohemian Rhapsody' during the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on January 27, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
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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 Malik’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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