At the April 2014 International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Tampa, Florida, actor-producer-singer Dhanush received the Male Debut award for his performance in the 2013 Hindi film Raanjhanaa. His performance in this film also earned him Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut. In addition, he received nominations for Filmfare Award for Best Actor, BIG Star Most Entertaining Debut Actor (Male), Screen Award for Best Male Debut, Screen Award for Best Actor, and Screen Award for Best Actor (Popular Choice).
But Dhanush isn't new to films. He has been working in as an actor, producer, and singer since his debut in the coming-of-age Tamil film Thulluvadho Ilamai in 2002. In fact, he has become one of the most popular and bankable actors in the Tamil film industry.
IIFA fans recognized him for his 20+ Tamil films to date and when he received his award in Tampa, fans shouted for him to sing "Why This Kolavari Di". This is a very popular song from the 2012 Tamil psychological thriller film 3.
At first Dhanush refused, but he finally obliged by singing a few lines. Afterwards, he tweeted:
The audience dint let me speak.Kept asking for kolaveri and I started blabbering.Had 2 sing a few lines. 3 years since d song.still ...#iifa— Dhanush (@dhanushkraja) April 27, 2014
"Why This Kolaveri Di" - which can be translated as " Why this murderous rage, girl?" - is a "soup" or "flop" song about failed love after a beautiful relationship. Dhanush's character sings the song with his friends while they are out drinking. It uses Tanglish - a combination of Tamil and English words - and was sung by Dhanush himself, who also developed the lyrics. Composer Anirudh Ravichander gave the song a unique, down-to-earth, traditional folk sound by incorporating a variety of south Indian instruments, including the nadaswaram, shehnai, urumee and thavil drums.
When released online, the song became an internet sensation in a few short weeks - becoming the most viewed Indian song on Youtube.
The following video playlist features the behind-the-scenes recording of version, the final film version, and two covers of the song, including one featuring playback singer Sonu Nigam's young son, Nevaan (Dhanush's favorite version). The playlist ends with a Houston flashmob performing to a remixed version.
If you liked this, please visit some of our other Music Monday posts.