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Image copyright Queen / UMG
Image caption The song reached number one twice – first in 1975 and again in 1991 following Freddie Mercury’s death

Bismillah! They will not let you go… Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody continues to break records as it enters its 44th year.

The song has just become the oldest video to reach 1 billion views on YouTube.

It is the first music video released in the 1970s, or any year prior to the 1990s, to reach the milestone.

Psy’s Gangnam Style was the first video to manage the feat in 2012. It now has 3.3bn views.

However, that pales in significance next to Luis Fonsi’s Despacito, which hit 6.3bn plays earlier this year – making it the most-watched video on the site.

In fact, Bohemian Rhapsody doesn’t even make the Top 100 most-played videos on YouTube.

However, Queen’s achievement is not to be sniffed at. Before Monday, the only other 20th Century song to reach 1 billion views was Guns N’ Roses’ November Rain.

Bohemian Rhapsody has seen a surge in streams since the release of the Freddie Mercury biopic, also called Bohemian Rhapsody, last year.

Queen’s two remaining members, Brian May and Roger Taylor, celebrated the song’s YouTube success by uploading a newly-remastered, 4K version of the video – which originally premiered on BBC One’s Top Of The Pops in 1975.

“I still enjoy hearing it,” May told BBC News in 2015, as the song marked its 40th anniversary.

“If it comes on the radio, I’ll turn it up and listen. But no air guitar. I’m too old for air guitar now.”

Other YouTube milestones

First video to reach 100 million

A fan-made video for Music Is My Hot Hot Sex, by Brazilian art-pop band CSS, was the first to break the 100m barrier in 2008.

The song spiked in popularity after being featured in an iPod advert (remember them?) – but some users suspected its view count had been manipulated.

The homemade clip was later deleted; while the band’s official video currently languishes on 220,000 views.

Google’s official history of YouTube now cites Judson Laipply’s Evolution of Dance as the first clip to amass 100m views.

Most views for a live stream

In October 2012, a record 8 million people tuned in to watch a live broadcast of Felix Baumgartner jumping from the edge of space back down to earth.

The Austrian jumped out of a balloon 24 miles (39km) above New Mexico, and became the first skydiver to go faster than the speed of sound, reaching a maximum velocity of 833.9mph (1,342km/h).

Fastest video to reach 100m views

This record falls faster than dominoes in an earthquake but, at the time of writing, the honour goes to K-Pop band BTS, whose single Boy With Luv was watched 100 million times in just 38 hours in April. In other words, 731 people clicked the “play” button every second.

BTS stole the record from K-pop girl group Blackpink, whose song Kill This Love reached 100m views in 62 hours a week earlier.

Adele’s Hello is the fastest video to reach 1bn views – taking just 87 days. It is now the site’s 17th most-played song.

Most-followed musician

Unsurprisingly, it’s Justin Bieber – who started his career as a YouTuber, posting a poorly-lit cover version of Ne-Yo’s So Sick from a local talent show when he was just 12 years old.

Later videos, filmed in his bedroom, were discovered by talent manager Scooter Braun, who’s worked with him ever since.

He’s now the most-followed musician on YouTube, with 45.9m subscribers. However, that’s dwarfed by Bollywood record label T-Series, which has 106m followers, more than any other channel or personality on the site.

First YouTube song to enter the chart

In 2010, a local news report from Huntsville, Alabama, about an intruder who climbed into a woman’s bed and tried to assault her became the basis for one of the most unlikely pop hits of all time.

The news story featured an animated and angry rant by the victim’s brother, Antoine Dobson, which was sampled and auto-tuned by the Gregory Brothers, a quartet of musicians living in Brooklyn.

The resulting track, Bed Intruder Song, was released on iTunes and sold 91,000 copies – enough to enter the Billboard Top 100 alongside songs by Katy Perry and Usher.

“It still feels really strange,” musician Evan Gregory told the BBC at the time.

“This week, I was opening a business bank account and I was trying to explain what our small business is. And the banker was like, ‘Oh, so you guys make videos kind of like that Antoine Dodson video?’ and I replied, ‘That is in fact one of the videos that we made.'”

Most subscribers lost in a single day

Image copyright James Charles / YouTube

YouTuber and makeup artist James Charles lost 1.2 million subscribers in a single day, following a feud with fellow video beauty blogger, Tati Westbrook.

The feud centred around hair supplements, of all things.

Westbrook, who mentored Charles at the start of his career, asked him to endorse a set of “hair vitamins” from her beauty range, but he refused, saying advocating them to his young audience felt uncomfortable. A few weeks later, he posted an advert for a rival product to his Instagram channel and all hell broke loose.

Westbrook posted a 43 minute-long rant accusing Charles of “manipulating people’s sexuality” and using his “fame, power and money to play with people’s emotions”. He eventually lost more than 3 million followers.

Most-liked and disliked video

It won’t come as a shock to learn that YouTube’s most-watched video, Despacito, has received the most thumbs up from users – 34m in total.

But the most disliked video was actually created by YouTube itself.

YouTube Rewind 2018, which was supposed to celebrate a year in the life of the site’s most-popular creators, attracted 16m downvotes, overtaking Justin Bieber’s Baby (10m dislikes) in a little over a week.

Fans were upset that some of the platform’s biggest stars, like PewDiePie, Shane Dawson, and Logan Paul, were omitted from the video; while others were aggrieved that celebrities and mainstream media outlets hogged the spotlight.

“Dethroning ‘Baby’ in dislikes wasn’t exactly our goal,” said YouTube in a statement.

Most-liked comment

Earlier this year, comedian/rapper Lil Dicky released the star-studded environmental anthem, Earth, which featured Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Leonardo DiCaprio, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Shawn Mendes, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, Sia and Ed Sheeran (amongst others).

Down in the comments section, natural history magazine National Geographic left him a message reading: “Lil Dicky: ‘We love the Earth’. National Geographic: ‘Same though’.”

It attracted more than 675,000 likes before disappearing – presumably because the profanity-strewn video didn’t fit with the magazine’s wholesome image. Maybe they should have targeted the clean version (above) instead.

Image copyright Reddit

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