Golden Globes: RRR's Telugu-language song Naatu Naatu makes awards history for India

It is the first tune from the country to win the Best Original Song award

M M Keeravani poses with the Golden Globe for Best Original Song - Motion Picture for Naatu Naatu from RRR. AFP
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The Telugu-language song Naatu Naatu from the epic action film RRR has made history by becoming the first Indian song to win a Golden Globe.

While Indian composer A R Rahman was previously awarded the coveted statuette in 2009 for his score on Slumdog Millionaire, Naatu Naatu is the first from India to win the award for Best Original Song — Motion Picture. The upbeat track was contending against works by Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Alexandre Desplat and Lady Gaga.

Naatu Naatu was composed by M M Keeravani and is performed by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava. Versions of the song were also released in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam.

The song’s original Telugu version crossed 17 million views within 24 hours of its release. Between all five iterations, the song raked in more than 35 million views.

"Naatu Naatu is a song of celebration... all we wanted to showcase in the song was lots of stamina and energy," Keeravani said in his acceptance speech. "I'm very excited for the great award I received just now. For the first time, it [RRR] has bagged the attention of the international audience, I am very happy for that.

“It’s been an age-old practice to say that this award actually belongs to someone else. So I was planning to not say those words when I get an award like this, but I’m sorry to say I’m going to repeat the tradition because I mean my words,” Keeravani said, going on to thank the song’s co-composers, RRR director SS Rajamouli, as well as the stars and team behind the film.

Speaking to Billboard before the ceremony, Keeravani said it was the “originality of the song, ethnic beats and energy” that made Naatu Naatu an international favourite. The song's Golden Globes win is being fervently celebrated online, with several fans saying it marks "a proud moment for Indian cinema".

The Golden Globes marks the first international prize for RRR.

The record-breaking Telugu-language feature, which is one of the highest-grossing films of the year for India, is also the most expensive Indian film to be made, with a budget of $72 million. The action epic is set in pre-independence India in the 1920s. It stars Telugu superstars NT Rama Rao Jr and Ram Charan in the lead roles of real-life Indian revolutionaries Komaram Bheem and Alluri Sitarama Raju, respectively.

The villains are portrayed by Ray Stevenson, from the Thor film franchise, who plays British Governor Scott Buxton, as well as Alison Doody, of A View To Kill fame, who takes on the role of Buxton's wife Catherine.

RRR revolves around Bheem’s mission to rescue Malli, a talented young child, after she was forcefully taken away from her family and community by Scott and Catherine. In pursuit of his duty as the protector of the tribe, Bheem encounters Ram, a rebel working undercover within the army to get access to British weapons to arm his fellow mutineers.

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Updated: January 11, 2023, 7:21 AM