[Barakoutlet]: Naatu Naatu from S.S. Rajamouli’s period drama RRR has won an Oscar in the Best Original Song category, beating the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever song Lift me Up by Rihana and Lady Gaga’s Hold Me Up from Top Gun: Maverick.
Naatu Naatu is the first original song from an Indian production to win this laurel. Composed by M.M. Keeravani and sung by Kaala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj, the peppy number received a standing ovation from audiences at the Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, earlier in the day.
The song is competing against Applause from Tell It like a Woman (Diane Warren), Hold My Hand from Top Gun Maverick (Lady Gaga and BloodPop), Lift Me Up from Black Panther Wakanda Forever (Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Goransson), This Is a Life from Everything Everywhere All at Once (Ryan Lott, David Byrne and Mitski).
The song was also performed on the Oscars stage by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava. However, Ram Charan and Jr NTR did not perform stage. Deepika Padukone introduced the performance, which received a standing ovation at the ceremony. You can watch it here:
Choreographed by Prem Rakshith, the song’s hook steps became a rage around the world. In an earlier chat with indianexpress.com, the choreographer shared that he composed “more than 118 steps for this song.” He credited director SS Rajamouli and said, “I have done more than 1000 songs but those songs never went to Oscars. Because of this movie (RRR), it went there. Otherwise, I can’t imagine going there. It is because RRR is so good and the way it is presented that everyone has enjoyed the movie and the song. I am so thankful to Rajamouli sir. This is his vision and his hard work.”
In a recent chat with Vanity Fair, Rajamouli spoke about Prem Rakshith’s work on the song and shared, “He had a difficult job as I told him that the song should (look) nice, the steps shouldn’t be too difficult so people can also replicate, and it should suit the style of the actors. You won’t believe this, but Prem came up with more than 100 variations for the hook line of Naatu Naatu, so credit to him.” The song was shot at Mariinskyi Palace in Kyiv, Ukraine.
M.M. Keeravani’s acceptance speech was also musical. He broke into Top of the World by The Carpenters before describing Naatu Naatu as the pride of India. He thanked Rajamouli for giving him an opportunity to work in RRR. “I grew up listening to The Carpenters, and here I’m with an Oscar,” he said.
Naatu Naatu was nominated in the Best Original Song category alongside Rihanna’s Lift Me Up from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Lady Gaga’s Hold Me Up from Top Gun: Maverick, Mitski’s This is a Life from Everything Everywhere All at Once and Diane Warren’s Applause from Tell It Like a Woman.
Earlier, Naatu Naatu had won a Golden Globe Award in the Best Song in a Motion Picture category. The peppy number, which has become a global sensation, also went on to win a Critics Choice Award and Hollywood Critics Association Award this year.
RRR was released in March 2022 and became a massive box office hit, grossing Rs 1,144 crore worldwide.