ICONIC Rock group, Queen, have been presented with a BRIT Billion Award by the BPI, the representative voice for the UK’s world leading record labels and music companies, which is also home to The BRIT Awards.
The BRIT Billion Award celebrates the band’s outstanding achievement as recording artists in surpassing the landmark of one billion career streams in the UK – as calculated by the Official Charts Company.
Contributing to the huge total, Queen’s most-streamed hits include such classics as Another One Bites The Dust, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Killer Queen, Radio Ga Ga, Under Pressure, We Are The Champions, and We Will Rock You, among a great many others.
Receiving the award for Queen are Sir Brian May and Roger Taylor OBE, who have each been presented with the personalised trophy created for the BPI by Gaudio Awards in the shape of the BRITs ‘B’ and incorporating an encapsulated BRITs statuette.
The award made to Queen coincides with the 50th anniversary of the band’s self-titled debut album, which was released in July 1973 – the same year the BPI itself came into being in its present role.
Sir Brian May of Queen said of the BRIT Billion Award: “Thank you for presenting Queen with a BRIT Billion Award. We’re grateful to all our fans that support us and continue to enjoy our music. Rock on BPI.”
Fellow Queen member, Roger Taylor OBE, added: “I’m thrilled to accept the BRIT Billion Award on behalf of Queen, celebrating being streamed over a billion times in the UK, which is incredible.
“I would like to say thanks to everyone who has extracted a morsel of enjoyment from our music. We are still around and we hope to entertain you a little. Thank you.”
Queen, whose classic line-up also comprised Freddie Mercury and John Deacon, and the BPI have enjoyed a number of shared connections over the course of their respective five-decade histories.
The band’s self titled debut album was released in July 1973, the same year the BPI was incorporated as a trade association, while Queen were among the very first artists to appear in the inaugural BRIT Awards in 1977 (co-winning the award for Best British Single with Bohemian Rhapsody).
Since then, the band’s acclaimed Queen’s Greatest Hits has gone on to be BRIT Certified 24X Platinum by the BPI as the most successful album of all time in the UK, with sales and streams combined.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, BPI chief executive, said: “There can be few artists who have done more to popularise and promote British music around the world than Queen. The term, ‘iconic’ barely does justice to their monumental achievements as recording artists – with their Greatest Hits the most successful album ever in the UK and their body of classic songs now celebrated for having being
streamed more than a billion times in the UK.
“Queen occupy a special place in the heart of the BPI – their self-titled debut album came out the same year we were formed and they were among the very first artists to win an inaugural BRIT Award – so we couldn’t be happier that they have now been honoured with a BRIT Billion Award in this, our 50th anniversary year.”
Creative Industries Minister and lifelong Queen fan, John Whittingdale, said: “It is fantastic to see the BPI marking their 50th anniversary year with a new award recognising the success of Britain’s biggest stars in the digital age.
“Thanks to streaming, future audiences can enjoy their music for many years to come.
“Congratulations to Queen for reaching this huge milestone. As a lifelong fan, I am delighted they are receiving this recognition as their magic continues to entertain millions of followers worldwide.”
Officially launched in May 2023, the first wave of artists to receive the BRIT Billion award included global superstars ABBA, Coldplay, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, pioneering Rap and Hip-Hop artists AJ Tracey and Headie One, and chart-dominating Pop artists and singer-songwriters Anne-Marie, Ellie Goulding, George Ezra, Lewis Capaldi, RAYE, Rita Ora and Sam Smith.
The BRIT Billion award reflects the extent to which streaming has transformed the music landscape for artists and fans alike over the past decade – more than 85 per cent of the UK’s recorded music consumption now takes place through streaming, and in 2022 there were a record 160 billion audio streams in the UK in total.
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