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How a song from a Tamil-language movie beat K-pop hits to top a worldwide Billboard chart

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Title iconThe News

A two-minute song from an upcoming Tamil-language movie was the most talked-about track in the world on Twitter for the past week, according to Billboard.

Soul of Varisu, from the upcoming movie Varisu, took the top spot on Billboard's "Hot Trending Songs" chart, which tracks global music-related trends and conversations. The popularity of the singer and massive fan base of the movie's lead actor likely fueled its rise to the top of the chart.

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Soul of Varisu is sung by K. S. Chithra, an Indian singer who has recorded over 25,000 songs in a variety of languages, mostly for use in movies.

Since being released on Dec. 20, the lyric video for the song has accrued over 9 million views on YouTube.

The movie comes out Jan. 12.

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Title iconThe View From Kollywood

Billboard's trending chart is usually dominated by K-pop artists, whose fans are known to be hyperactive on social media. On this week's chart, eight of the top 10 songs are by K-pop acts including NCT Dream and Stray Kids.

But the success of Soul of Varisu highlights the popularity of Tamil cinema, a subset of the Indian film industry known as "Kollywood," based out of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

The movie's star, known to fans as Thalapathy Vijay, is one of India's highest paid actors, and has a massive, loyal following. Many of his Twitter fan pages heralded the chart achievement Wednesday.

One account, @VijayIsMyLife, wrote that "What #BTS army is in K-pop, #ThalapathyVijay fans are in Kollywood," referring to the powerful fanbase of the K-pop boy band BTS. "The unrivaled fandoms that trend everything in no time."

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