Mar 12, 2023, 10:55pm EDT
South Asia

RRR’s ‘Naatu Naatu’ wins Oscar for Best Original Song, making history

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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Naatu Naatu, the viral dance number from the Telugu-language film RRR, won an Oscar for Best Original Song on Sunday.

It became the first song from an Indian movie production to win an Academy Award after previously winning a Golden Globe.

Naatu Naatu beat out Rihanna’s Lift Me Up from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Lady Gaga for Hold My Hand from Top Gun: Maverick, Diane Warren’s Applause from Tell It Like a Woman, and David Byrne, Ryan Lott, and Mitski’s This Is A Life from Everything Everywhere All At Once.

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With more than 43 million streams on Spotify and 146 million views on YouTube, Naatu Naatu — which translates to “Dance Dance” — has inspired thousands of dance videos on Instagram and TikTok.

“It’s not just because of the music or the dance — the entire story of RRR can be summarized within these 10 minutes of Naatu Naatu,” SS Rajamouli, the movie’s director, said in an interview with Vanity Fair.


The song, composed by M.M Keeravani, features lyrics such as “eat chili and dance like this…dance as if a scorpion has bitten you”.

RRR is a fictional story of two Indian revolutionaries fighting against British rule. It is the most expensive Indian movie produced to date, and has become the third highest-grossing Indian film and second highest-grossing Telugu film worldwide.

The dance video was filmed outside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s official residence months before Ukraine was invaded by Russia.