“Naatu Naatu” from ‘RRR’ Makes History Winning Academy Award for Best Original Song

M. M. Keeravani and lyricist Chandrabose won the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Naatu Naatu” from the 2022 film RRR during the 95th Academy Awards Sunday night (March 12). “Naatu Naatu” is the first song from an Indian film to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

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Composed by M. M. Keeravani with lyrics by Kanukuntla Subhash Chandrabose (Chandrabose), the song was recorded by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava for the 2022 action drama RRR, directed by S. S. Rajamouli.

Production of the song took more than 19 months, and Chandrabose wrote the lyrics based on his childhood memories, following the theme of friendship. Chandrabose said that he wrote 90 percent of the song in half a day, but it took 1.7 years to write the remaining 10 percent of it.

Translated as “bucolic” in Telugu, the song embodies the story of the film, an imaginary friendship between two superheroes, and celebrates the spirit of dance, and life.

Bringing the song back to life at the Academy Awards, Sipligunj, and Bhairava shared an explosive performance of “Naatu Naatu” during the ceremony along with a troupe of more than 20 dancers.

This is the third big win for “Naatu Naatu” following a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award. The song was up against other nominees for Best Original song, including “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman, written by Diane Warren; “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick, performed and co-written by Lady Gaga; “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, performed by Rihanna; and “This Is a Life,” written by Ryan Lott and David Byrne for Everything Everywhere All at Once.

In 2022, “No Time to Die,” written and performed by Billie Eilish and Finneas for the 2021 James Bond film of the same name won Best Original Song. Previous Best Original Song winners include “Fight for You,” performed by H.E.R. for the Judas and the Black Messiah (2021), “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from the Elton John biopic Rocketman (2020), and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, which won in 2019.

Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

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