LOS ANGELES (AP) — M.M. Keeravani has brought the spotlight back to India after a historic Oscar musical win.
Keeravani won best original song for his joyously energetic anthem “Naatu Naatu” from the film “RRR.” The music was written by Keeravani and the lyrics by Chandrabose.
“It’s just the beginning of everything,” Keeravani said backstage. “For the world, particularly the Western world, folks are more on India and Asian music. It’s just long due. I feel very happy to open doors and the world to embrace my culture.”
“Naatu Naatu” is the first song from an Indian film to earn a nomination and win in the best original song category. However, Indian artist A.R. Rahman won an Oscar in the category for “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” — a British production — in 2009.
Keeravani delighted the Oscar audience by saying he grew up listening to The Carpenters and then began singing the band’s “Top of the World” with new lyrics, including “’RRR’ has to win/Pride of every Indian.”
“Naatu Naatu” is one of the most memorable sequences from the the Telugu-language action epic “RRR” with its catchy tune and accompanying dance by actors Ram Charan and N.T. Rama Rao Jr.
The song has become a viral sensation outside of the film, racking up more than 122 million views on YouTube and inspiring a TikTok challenge where users attempt to recreate the acrobatic dance-off. South Korean Ambassador Chang Jae-bok’s rendition went viral.
Chandrabose said he’s eager to show his trophy to his wi