Indian Music on the World Stage: Chart-Topping Hits

By February 2, 2024No Comments

Indian Music on the World Stage: Chart-Topping Hits


Indian music, with its diverse genres and rich cultural roots, has long captivated audiences both domestically and globally. In recent years, this allure has transcended geographical borders, leading Indian songs to claim top spots on international music charts. This blog dives into the journey of these chart-topping hits, offering a glimpse into the global impact of Indian music.

Indian Song

Context: The Global Influence of Indian Music

Indian music’s journey to international acclaim is a story of cultural exchange and adaptation. From classical and folk to Bollywood and contemporary, Indian tunes have struck a chord with global audiences, showcasing the universal appeal of its melodies and rhythms.

Indian Song

Top Indian Music Hits That Conquered International Charts:

“Naatu Naatu” (2022) – Breaking Barriers

From the blockbuster film “RRR,” “Naatu Naatu” became an international sensation, charting high in the US and Japan. The song, composed by M. M. Keeravani with lyrics by Chandrabose, was recorded by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava. It’s known for its catchy rhythm and lively dance, which played a significant role in its global appeal. The song achieved a historic feat by winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song. This achievement not only highlights the song’s worldwide popularity but also the global recognition of Indian cinema and music.

Listen to “Naatu Naatu” on YouTube!

“Mundian To Bach Ke” (1997) – Bhangra Goes Global

Panjabi MC’s “Mundian To Bach Ke” redefined the global music scene by introducing Bhangra to the world. Its chart-topping success in Europe, especially in the UK, marked a significant moment in the globalisation of Indian music. Panjabi MC, a British musician of Indian origin, brought a unique fusion of Punjabi music with hip-hop beats, making this track a global dance anthem.

Listen to “Mundian To Bach Ke” on YouTube!

“Tunak Tunak Tun” (1998) – A Cult Classic

Daler Mehndi’s iconic “Tunak Tunak Tun” transcended its regional roots to become a global cult hit. It gained popularity in the South Asian diaspora in the UK and the USA. The song also enjoyed success in China. It reached #28 on Belgium’s official top 50 charts in October 2016, illustrating its wide-reaching impact​​.Daler Mehndi, a prominent figure in Indian pop and Bhangra music, is known for his energetic performances and distinctive voice that has captured the hearts of music lovers worldwide.

Listen to “Tunak Tunak Tun” on YouTube!

“Why This Kolaveri Di” (2011) – The Viral Sensation

Anirudh Ravichander’s “Why This Kolaveri Di” showcased the power of the internet in making a song go viral. While specific chart positions are not documented, its widespread play in nightclubs and discos in Japan, and its popularity on US radio stations underscore its global appeal. Anirudh Ravichander, a young music composer from Tamil Nadu, India, became an overnight sensation with this song, which features a unique blend of Tamil and English lyrics in a light-hearted manner.

Listen to “Why This Kolaveri Di” on YouTube!

“Jai Ho” (2008) – An Oscar-Winning Phenomenon

A.R. Rahman’s “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” not only won an Oscar but also captured hearts globally, charting in various countries. This song symbolises the fusion of Indian music with global cinematic narratives. A.R. Rahman, known as the “Mozart of Madras,” is an acclaimed composer and musician whose work spans across multiple genres and languages. His contribution to “Jai Ho” earned him a Grammy Award, further solidifying his status as a global music icon.

Listen to “Jai Ho” on YouTube! 

Indian Song

Speaking of Grammys, we have also explored the fascinating world of Indian songs that have made it to and won Grammys. It’s a journey through some of the most remarkable musical contributions from India that have been recognised on this prestigious global platform. Have a read; it might surprise you! Read our blog on Indian Grammy-winning songs here.


The international success of these songs is a reflection of the changing dynamics in the global music industry. Indian music’s foray onto international charts is a testament to its enduring charm and the growing interconnectedness of the world. As Indian melodies continue to blend with diverse international styles, they pave the way for a more inclusive and diverse global music landscape where different cultures and traditions can coexist and flourish.

Qushay Ramchandani


A copywriter who enjoys learning and researching music from time to time.