“Naatu Naatu,” from Indian blockbuster “RRR,” won the Oscar for original song, making history in the process.
With music by composer M.M. Keeravani and lyrics by Chandrabose, the toe tapping Telugu-language dance number from director S.S. Rajamouli’s action hit is the first song from an Indian film to be nominated, and win, in its category.
“Thank you, Academy. I grew up listening to the Carpenters, and now here I am with the Oscars,” Keeravani said in his acceptance speech, before breaking into song: “There was only one wish on my mind … ‘RRR’ has to win, pride of every Indian, and must put me on the top of the world.”
An estatitic Ram Charan, who starred in the film, was all smiles moments following Keeravani and Chandrabose’s Oscar win for “Naatu Naatu.”
In 2009 Indian composer A.R. Rahman’s “Jai Ho” won the original song Oscar for Danny Boyle’s U.K. production “Slumdog Millionaire.”
The buzz about the song started early. It’s hard to deny the power of the song, “Naatu Naatu” and the charisma of the lead actors of “RRR” N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Charan.
At an earlier screening of “RRR” at CAA (Creative Arts Agency) M.M. Keeravani and director S.S. Rajamouli shared many interesting details about how the film was made including that it was shot for 365 days which included two weeks at Ukraine’s presidential palace before the Russian invasion.
The song has been translated as “Naacho Naacho” in Hindi, “Naattu Koothu” in Tamil, “Halli Naatu” in Kannada and “Karinthol” in Malayalam.
Recorded by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava, “Naatu Naatu” snagged the prize from four English-language films: “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” sung by pop icon Rihanna; “This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” performed by Mitski; “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman,” penned by Diane Warren and sung by Sofia Carson; and Lady Gaga’s soaring “Top Gun: Maverick” ballad, “Hold My Hand.
Sipligunj and Bhairava made their Oscars debut performing the song at the 95th Academy Awards, accompanied by a bevy of dancers, with director Rajamouli, stars Jr NTR and Charan, Keeravani and Chandrabose seated in the audience.
Choreographed by Prem Rakshith, the song is long (four minutes) and has been viewed half a billion times on YouTube in various languages. Click here to view the video.