International pop stars lured by Bollywood
Music speaks a universal lingo. Be it from any corner of the world, melody, beats and rhythm find a note to connect with one and all.
Perhaps that's what tempts international singing sensations from across the border and seven seas or down under to do their bit in Bollywood. More often than not, it's been a successful collaboration.
Inspired by this promising statistic, actor-producer Shah Rukh Khan has roped in American R&B singer/songwriter Akon to work his magic in the upcoming superhero fantasy, Ra.One.
A grand-scale SFX adventure, the Red Chillies production directed by Anubhav Sinha (Tum Bin, Dus, Cash) features Kareena Kapoor as SRK's leading lady with composer duo Vishal-Shekhar pitching in to helm the soundtrack.
The Grammy-nominated artist hit the popularity charts with zingy singles like Smack that (featuring Eminem) and I wanna love you, to name a few.
After a warm welcome from SRK and Co, Akon enthusiastically stated, 'For Ra.One, I will be composing and singing a song. I will also appear in it. I want to give Shah Rukh different versions of the same song to choose from.'
Before Akon, a considerable number of artists have come forward to work on the Hindi music scene. Take a look:
Image: Shah Rukh Khan and Akon
Kylie Minogue, Blue
With its star-studded cast and sleek, underwater action, last year's Diwali release, Blue was expected to provide magnificent results at the box-office.
Alas, even the global allure and much-hyped presence of Australian pop sensation Kylie Minogue teasing Akshay Kumar to the beats of A R Rahman's 'Chiggy Wiggy' couldn't bring in enough audience. To her credit, Kylie managed the Bollywood jhatkas rather nicely.
Image: Kylie Minogue and Akshay Kumar
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
Snoop Dogg, Singh is Kinng
He's smooth. And he's definitely cool.
Bringing his trademark style to Bollywood music, American rapper Snoop Dogg joined forces with Akshay Kumar and UK-based bhangra band RDB to groove with attitude in the super snazzy Pritam ditty, Singh is Kinng.
Hugely popular with listeners, the song and its chilled-out video, which features in the crazy comedy's closing credits, is a marvelous marriage of East to West.
Image: Snoop Dogg and Akshay Kumar
Tata Young, Dhoom
Remember Tata Young -- the cute-faced Thai singer oozing oomph with her voice while sizzling uninhibitedly around John Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra in turns to the ditzy beats of Dhoom?
As soon as Yash Raj Films got to hear about this bright, young, vocal talent from Thailand, they signed her up to record the racy title track accompanied with an equally hot video.
Image: Tata Young
Photographs: Sukree Sukplang/Reuters
Girlband, Heyy Babyy
Like elder sister, Farah, director Sajid Khan too, loves to highlight the showman within.
And so for Heyy Babyy, apart from an all-star cast (Akshay Kumar, Fardeen Khan, Vidya Balan, Ritesh Deshmukj), a special appearance by Shah Rukh Khan and an item song featuring all the sex-symbols of Bollywood ranging from Malaika Arora Khan to Dia Mirza, the director also roped in Australia's pop stars, namely Girlband comprising of Renee Armstrong, Renee Bargh, Jess Smith and Patrice Tipoki, best known for their single Party Girl, to do jazz things up further with their techno-friendly take on Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's spunky title number.
Image: Members of the Australian pop group Girlband
Sweden-based Iranian singer, Arash impresses a great deal with his vocal prowess in Bluffmaster's foot-tapping, finger-snapping Middle-eastern flavours of Boro Boro.
The song, already a rage in Europe, found its way into the Abhishek Bachchan-led con caper wherein writer Jaideep Saini stepped in to pen down its Hindi lyrics.
Image: AySel and Arash of Azerbaijan perform during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow
Photographs: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters
Speaking of Bachchan Jr, the actor displayed his hip side for the first time with a guest appearance in Mahesh Manjrekar's Rakht, a wishy-washy remake of Hollywood's The Gift, courtesy English boy band Blue's best-remembered chartbuster, One love.
Shaan worked on its official Hindi version with traces of the original to breezy effect lending AB and his co-star Bipasha Basu a swelll mix to jive to.
Samantha Fox, Rock Dancer
The one who started it all.
Pop sensation and 'It' girl of the 80s, Samantha Fox who made hit singles like Touch me, I wanna have some fun and Naughty girls (Need love too), flew down to Mumbai to shake a leg with Govinda against Bappi Lahri's disco-themed jingle jangle, Traffic Jam, a shamelessly ripped-off, pathetic version of Michael Jackson's Jam.
Tacky to the point of hilarious, her appearance in Rock Dancer was neither appreciated nor remembered.
Image: Samantha Fox
Photographs: Ian Waldie/Reuters