Rihanna’s Best Original Song competitor can’t wait to meet her at the Oscars


Rihanna will be performing “Lift Me Up” at the Academy Awards next month, and one of the artists she’s going head-to-head with in the Best Original Song category says he’s dying to meet her.

M.M. Keeravani co-wrote the Oscar-nominated song “Naatu Naatu,” which won the Golden Globe in January. At age 61, he’s been making music for 33 years. When asked by Billboard who he’s hoping to meet at the Oscars, he didn’t name any boomer acting icons like Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep.

“I’m hoping to meet Rihanna and say to her that ‘Disturbia,’ ‘Rude Boy’ and a few others are my most favorite songs,” says Keeravani. “I’d like to shake hands with her.”

In addition to Rihanna’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever song “Lift Me Up,” Keeravani is competing against Lady Gaga‘s Top Gun: Maverick song “Hold My Hand”; “Applause” by perennial nominee Diane Warren from the film Tell It Like a Woman; and “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once, co-written by ex-Talking Heads frontman David Byrne.

Keeravani also says he’d like to meet Colin Farrell, who’s nominated for The Banshees of Inisherin, because he says Farrell’s 2002 movie Phone Booth is his “all-time favorite movie.”

The 95th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air live on ABC March 12.

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