Movie stars, business tycoons, and politicians were among the Indians celebrating the country’s first ever Golden Globe after Naatu Naatu, a song from the Telugu-language blockbuster RRR, won Best Original Song at Tuesday’s award show — beating competition from Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna.
Director S.S. Rajamouli said in a tweet that he was speechless over the win.
“Music truly knows no boundaries,” he wrote. “I thank each & every fan across the globe for shaking their leg & making it popular ever since the release.”
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan told Rajamouli that he “woke up and started dancing to Naatu Naatu... Here’s to many more awards & making India so proud!!”
Mahesh Babu, a Telugu cinema star who has been called the “Prince of Tollywood,” wrote to his 13 million Twitter followers that “Watching the world cheer for an Indian film is a dream come true!!" And actress Tamannaah called the win a “historic and proud moment for Indian cinema.”
Praise also poured in from other industries. Indian billionaire businessman Anand Mahindra tweeted: “Dance and the world dances with you,” sharing a video from a recent screening of RRR in Los Angeles where audience members swarmed the stage and danced to Naatu Naatu.
And Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the win a “very special accomplishment.”
“This prestigious honour has made every Indian very proud,” Modi tweeted.
Naatu Naatu is a joyful dance number in the historical action fantasy directed by S.S. Rajamouli, set during India’s fight against British rule. The song’s revolutionary zeal, catchy steps, and lyrics such as ”dance as if a scorpion has bitten you," all helped the track win big, Times Now wrote.
The song has recorded more than 37 million streams on Spotify, and over 111 million hits on YouTube.
The video for the song was filmed outside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s official residence, months before Ukraine was invaded by Russia. The filming in Ukraine was the final leg of the movie’s shooting schedule, according to the Times of India.
RRR is considered the most expensive Indian film to date, and broke several box office records after it was released in March 2022. It has already become the third highest-grossing Indian film and second highest-grossing Telugu film worldwide.
The film was also nominated for the Golden Globe for best non-English language movie but lost to Argentina, 1985.
Tuesday’s ceremony marked the televised return of the Golden Globes after being taken off the air last year following a scandal over the lack of diversity within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the movie and TV awards.
Comedian and host Jerrod Carmichael addressed the controversy directly during his opening monologue, joking that he was “invited to be the Black face of an embattled white organization.”