Oscars 2023: ‘RRR’ music ‘Naatu Naatu’ makes historical past with win

Do you understand … naatu? The academy proved it does Sunday night time when the heel-tapping “Naatu Naatu,” from Indian blockbuster “RRR,” gained the Oscar for authentic music, making historical past within the course of.

With music by composer M.M. Keeravani and lyrics by Chandrabose, the infectious Telugu-language dance quantity from director S.S. Rajamouli’s crossover motion hit is the primary music from an Indian movie to be nominated, and win, in its class.

“Thank you, Academy. I grew up listening to the Carpenters, and now here I am with the Oscars,” Keeravani stated in his acceptance speech, earlier than breaking into music: “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.”

Previously, in 2009, Indian composer A.R. Rahman’s “Jai Ho” gained the authentic music Oscar for Danny Boyle’s U.Okay. manufacturing “Slumdog Millionaire.” But the overwhelming majority of winners spanning the class’s practically 90 years in existence have been English-language songs from Hollywood movies.

Grassroots favourite “Naatu Naatu” had elements in its favor: particularly, “RRR” stars N.T. Rama Rao Jr., a.okay.a. Jr NTR, and Ram Charan, whose charismatic lead turns within the Twenties-set anticolonialist epic are highlighted within the breathless quantity that had audiences dancing within the aisles all through the movie’s worldwide theatrical runs and wildly in style U.S. rerelease.

N.T. Rama Rao Jr., left, and Ram Charan, photographed in Los Angeles, star in S.S. Rajamouli’s Tollywood hit “RRR.”

(Ethan Benavidez / For The Times)

The hit music grew to become a preferred breakout quantity as “RRR” mania swept the globe final yr, translated as “Naacho Naacho” in Hindi, “Naattu Koothu” in Tamil, “Halli Naatu” in Kannada and “Karinthol” in Malayalam.

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Recorded by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava, “Naatu Naatu” beat out songs from 4 English-language movies to attain the trophy: “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” sung by pop icon Rihanna; “This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” carried out by Mitski; “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman,” penned by Diane Warren and sung by Sofia Carson; and Lady Gaga’s hovering “Top Gun: Maverick” ballad, “Hold My Hand.”

Sipligunj and Bhairava made their Oscars debut Sunday performing the music on the ninety fifth Academy Awards, accompanied by a cadre of dancers, with director Rajamouli, stars Jr NTR and Charan, Keeravani and Chandrabose within the viewers.

Filmed over two weeks at Ukraine’s presidential palace months earlier than the Russian invasion, “Naatu Naatu” unfolds as freedom-fighting besties Komaram Bheem (Jr NTR) and Alluri Sitarama Raju (Charan) unite in a fast-paced dance-off in opposition to bullying British rivals.

The grueling dance scene, choreographed by Prem Rakshith, runs over 4 steady minutes and has over half a billion views on YouTube in varied languages.