RRR's "Naatu Naatu" became the first song from an Indian film to win the best original song award at Sunday's (March 12) Academy Awards, defeating a field of heavy hitters that included Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and perennial nominee Diane Warren.
The success of "Naatu Naatu" had many authors, from the stars who danced to it in RRR (N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan) to the vocalists who performed it (Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava) to the choreographer who helped make its video a viral sensation. Songwriters M.M. Keeravani and Chandrabose received the Oscar statuettes (Prem Rakshith).
Unlike the other songs up for the award for best original song, "Naatu Naatu" was an integral part of the movie from which it originated. It first appears in RRR an hour in and serves as the soundtrack to a fierce dance battle between the movie's central characters and a bunch of stuffy British colonizers.
"Naatu Naatu" was widely considered the frontrunner in this year's field of nominees, which included Lady Gaga's "Hold My Hand" (from Top Gun: Maverick), Rihanna's "Lift Me Up" (from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Sofia Carson's "Applause" (from Tell It Like a Woman) and Son Lux, David Byrne and Mitski's "This Is a Life" (from Everything Everywhere All At Once). "Applause" was written by Diane Warren, who missed out on a competitive Oscar win for the 14th time without a victory.
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