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Stand and deliver

Shock and awe as a 9 months pregnant M.I.A. performs at Grammy awards on the eve of her C-section. Himadree tells more.

entertainment Updated: Feb 10, 2009 20:20 IST

Just days, maybe hours, away from childbirth, Mathangi Maya Arulpra-gasam aka M.I.A. performed at Sunday’s Grammy awards, proudly showing off her bump in a see-through black dress.

The Tamilian, UK-based singer was nominated for Record of the Year for her breakthrough single Paper Planes and she has an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for O Saya in Slumdog Millionaire.

On Sunday, she arrived at the Grammy in LA wearing Manish Arora. Her performance drew gasps of surprise.

M.I.A.’s father Arular Arudpragasam, who has lived in India for many years, said he had advised her not to go on stage in her state. There were rumours that she had scheduled a Caesarean section right after the ceremony. But, her father said from London, “She hasn’t delivered yet. I shall fly to America next week. I am in touch with her constantly.”

M.I.A. was born in London, in a family of Tamil descent. When she was six months old, her family moved back to their native Sri Lanka. Arudpragasam told HT City his daughter came with him to India in the ’80s and returned to Sri Lanka when she was nine. This was when he became part of the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict in the island nation.

“My association with the armed conflict has to a large extent affected her as a singer and as a person. She is a very emotional girl, but she is very brave,” he says of M.I.A, whose name, stands for ‘Missing in Action’ in reference to her father’s days as a rebel.

“The Sri Lankan community [in London] is excited [about the Oscar nomination] and so are my friends back in India,” says the father. “I am in London right now, but she wants me to be with her. I am quite excited, but concerned about her health. She is heavily pregnant and I had advised her not to perform and not to take too much stress.”