‘Naatu Naatu’ from ‘RRR’ wins Best Song Oscar over Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Diane Warren

As Gold Derby predicted, “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR” (M. M. Keeravani and Chandrabose) won the Best Song Oscar on March 12 over co-nominees “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman” (Diane Warren), “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick” (Lady Gaga and BloodPop), “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Göransson) and “This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (Ryan Lott, David Byrne and Mitski). This was one of the most-watched Oscar categories of the year, as it included so many recognizable names from the music industry.

Accepting the trophies for “Naatu Naatu” were M. M. Keeravani, who wrote the music, and Chandrabose, who penned the lyrics. Today’s Oscars win marked the duo’s first triumphs at the Academy Awards. Heading into Sunday night, “Naatu Naatu” had already swept awards season, as it prevailed at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice and Gold Derby Awards.

“RRR,” which stands for “Rise Roar Revolt,” is an Indian film from director S. S. Rajamouli that tells the story of two revolutionaries, played by N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan, who become friends as they fight against the British Raj. Interestingly, India chose not to submit the worldwide hit for Oscar consideration in the category of Best International Feature, which explains why it was not nominated there.

All five of the Best Song contenders were performed during’s ABC’s broadcast of the Academy Awards ceremony, including “Naatu Naatu.” Lady Gaga’s appearance was a last-minute surprise, as she’s in the middle of filming “Joker: Folie à Deux” and thus wasn’t officially announced; she previously won this same category for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” (2018).

Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users collectively had “Naatu Naatu” in first place to win the Oscar for Best Song with leading 16/5 odds. Our runner-up was “Lift Me Up” (4/1 odds), followed by “Hold My Hand” (4/1 odds), “This Is a Life” (9/2 odds) and “Applause” (9/2 odds).

Earlier this awards season, Keeravani told Gold Derby in an exclusive video interview, “[‘Naatu Naatu’] talks about ethnicity basically … This is what we are, let us present ourselves with what we’ve learned, what we know, what we enjoyed in our childhood. It’s an earthly beat, a rustic percussion. So let us enjoy this beat, this 6/8 signature beat talking about all the things we enjoy, all the things we feel energetic and feel high about, all the things that belong to the motherland, and everything about us. So just look at us. It’s kind of exhibiting and displaying and showcasing their inner energy, packed with lots of stamina.”

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