Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava Bring the Energy with “Naatu Naatu” at Oscars

Singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava turned the 95th annual Academy Awards up a notch with their performance of “Naatu Naatu” on Sunday night (March 12).

Videos by American Songwriter

The pair pulled out the full theatrics for their display of the Telugu-language banger from the 2022 Indian action-drama RRR. Turning the Dolby Theatre stage into more than a performance, the duo delivered with an on-point production. Their bop-along chorus was energized with vibrant choreography by dancers in colorful costuming.

“Naatu Naatu” marks the first song from an Indian production to be nominated for an Oscar. The entire display looked like a blast with Sipligunj and Bhairava leading the eye-catching showcase.

Check out their performance below.

Giving a taste of what to expect from their production, performers from the S. S. Rajamouli-directed film made an appearance at the start of the ceremony, dancing the night’s host Jimmy Kimmel off the stage once his opening monologue came to a close.

“Naatu Naatu” followed performances from Sofia Carson singing “Applause” alongside nominated songwriter Diane Warren from the film Tell It Like A Woman, as well as David Byrne, Son Lux and Stephanie Hsu performing “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once.

The night will also see a performance from Rihanna singing “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Along with Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick, all are nominated in the Best Original Song category.

Rocker Lenny Kravitz is set to perform during the ceremony’s annual “In Memoriam” tribute, as well.

Other music-related categories being celebrated at the ceremony are Best Original Score – All Quiet on the Western Front, Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans are all nominated – and Best Sound, recognizing All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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