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Meet the ‘unknown’ village woman who impressed AR Rahman with her voice

Think Change India
posted on 19th November 2018
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40-year-old Baby, of Vadisaleru village in East Godavari district, impresses the online world with her rendition of O Cheliya from 1994 movie Premikudu.

Social media is shining the spotlight on talent in the hinterlands. And how! A video clip of a 40-year-old woman singing O Cheliya, a song from 1994 movie Premikudu starring Prabhudeva and Nagma, has gone viral across many channels. The best part? Her rendition floored award-winning music director AR Rahman, who composed the music for the film.

Source: Scroll and NDTV

Rahman shared the video of the woman crooning his song on his Facebook page, captioning it “Unknown, anonymous, beautiful voice".

The Scroll, which identified the woman as Baby, reported that she belongs to Vadisaleru village in East Godavari district. Dressed in a blue saree and seated next to a plastic bucket, the “unknown” singer rendered the Telugu melody perfectly. Her video was shared 25,600+ times after Rahman’s appreciation.

When regional TV channel HMTV tracked her down, Baby confessed that music composer Saluri Koteswara Rao, also known as Koti, had gotten in touch with her for a big project. According to a report in The Quint, Baby often sang while at work and was appreciated by her fellow workers. A neighbour once asked if she could teach her to sing as well, and eventually recorded Baby’s song and posted it on the internet. Baby, who doesn’t even own a phone, has said she had no idea that she would be so popular.

The 1994 movie also had a Tamil version and AR Rahman’s music was one of the reasons behind its success; was The Tamil version of O Cheliya was the hugely popular Ennavaley.

It wasn't so long ago that Rakesh Unni, a Kerala-based labourer, sang Shankar Mahadevan's song from the film Vishwaroopam and became an online sensation. Music directors came forward, praising him and offering opportunities, reported India Today.

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