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Indian prime minister celebrates Naatu Naatu’s ‘exceptional’ Oscar win

Narendra Modi has said India is “elated and proud” after the song Naatu Naatu from Bollywood blockbuster RRR won the Oscar for best original music score.

The track, which beat competition from pop titans Rihanna and Lady Gaga, has already seen great success during the 2023 awards season, having scooped best song accolades at both the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.

The song’s catchy chorus, from MM Keeravani and Chandrabose, has enthralled music fans across the world and has become the first song from an Indian film to pick up the best original music score Academy Award.

On accepting the award, 61-year-old Keeravani said: “I grew up listening to The Carpenters and now here I am with the Oscars.”

95th Academy Awards – Show
A performance of the song Naatu Naatu during the Oscars ceremony (Chris Pizzello/AP)

He went on to sing to the melody of pop song Top Of The World with bespoke lyrics: “There was only one wish on my mind… RRR has to win, pride of every Indian, and must put me on top of your world.”

After the win was broadcast, Indian prime minister Mr Modi tweeted: “Exceptional! The popularity of ‘Naatu Naatu’ is global. It will be a song that will be remembered for years to come. Congratulations to @mmkeeravaani, @boselyricist and the entire team for this prestigious honour.

“India is elated and proud. #Oscars.”

Before a performance of the song earlier in the night, Indian actress Deepika Padukone said: “An irresistibly catchy chorus, electrifying beats and killer dance moves to match have made this next song a global sensation.

“It plays during a pivotal scene in RRR, a movie about the friendship between real life India revolutionaries Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem.

“In addition to being sung in Telugu and illustrating the film’s anti-colonialist themes, it is also a total banger.

“It is has had millions of views on YouTube and TikTok, has audiences dancing in movie theatres all around the world, and is also the first song ever from an Indian production to be nominated for an Oscar.

“Do you know Naatu? Because if you don’t, you are about to.”