In 2011, actor Dhanush and his wife, film director Aishwaryaa R Dhanush, who announced their split on January 17, worked together on a Tamil film titled “3”. The movie did well but what captured more attention was one of its songs – Why This Kolaveri Di?
Released in November, 2011, the song went on to become a sensation not just in India but abroad. Its appeal lay in the catchy tune and lyrics which fuse English and Tamil.
The song, whose hook translates to “why this murderous rage”, captures the emotions of a man who has experienced failure in love. Dhanush sang the song.
The internet was hooked to the video showing the recording of the song. Apart from Dhanush, the singer, it features the song’s composer Anirudh Ravichander, Aishwaryaa and Shruti Haasan, the female lead of 3.
Within a week of the video’s release, it gathered millions of views on YouTube and Facebook. The song became the top social media trend in India. Presently, it has 300 million views on YouTube.
Dhanush said the team enjoyed making Why This Kolaveri Di and that reflected in the song as well.
"This was very much a group effort, and we had so much fun that I think it comes across in the song and the video, and that’s what people love so much about it," he had told The Times of India in 2011. "It’s also something to do with the fact that I’m not a playback singer, so my voice isn’t perfect. Everyone can hum this song."
Ravichander told the newspaper that he had the composition ready in five minutes.
“Then, Dhanush enters, listens to the track and just starts singing. His first line was ‘Why this kolaveri di?’, which sort of translates into ‘Why do you have such a rage towards me, girl?’ We loved the line and the Tamil-English phrase, and then decided to just go ahead with that. There were no lyrics, it was all done impromptu by Dhanush in 25 minutes,” he added.
The roaring success of Why This Kolaveri Di made Dhanush popular with audiences outside South India. Soon after, he was cast in Hindi movie Raanjhanaa opposite Sonam Kapoor. The film released in 2013.His latest release was Atrangi Re alongside Sara Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar.