Indian film song beats entries from Rihanna and Lady Gaga to win historic Oscar

Naatu Naatu from the Telugu-language blockbuster RRR has made history as the first Indian song to win an Academy Award, taking the Oscar for best original song. 

With its catchy chorus and energetic choreography, the song sparked a viral TikTok challenge as people tried to master the acrobatic moves.

The song by MM Keeravani and Chandrabose beat competition from pop heavyweights Rihanna and Lady Gaga.

It has already seen great success during the 2023 awards season, having scooped best song accolades at both the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.

On accepting the award, 61-year-old Keeravani said: “I grew up listening to The Carpenters and now here I am with the Oscars“.

He went on to sing to the melody of pop song Top Of The World with bespoke lyrics: “There was only one wish on my mind… RRR has to win, pride of every Indian, and must put me on top of your world.”

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The music video was shot in front of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s official residence in Kyiv in 2021, months before Russia invaded Ukraine.

The crew took 15 days to shoot the scene, which featured about 50 dancers and 400 extras.

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In an interview with Variety in January, director SS Rajamouli said he wanted to explore the movie’s anti-colonial themes through an action sequence that saw the film’s two main Indian actors out-dance the British.

The historic win was matched by a second Indian triumph as The Elephant Whisperers was named best short documentary.