Dance numbers, also known as item numbers have become an integral part of Bollywood films. The filmmakers have no regrets accommodating item songs in their ventures, whether they fit into the narrative or not. They are either included in the final cut or turn out to be promotional numbers. The debate around item songs has been going on for the past several years. The activists accuse Bollywood of objectifying women in their songs that end up being chartbusters.

Here are 10 item songs that were helpful in taking the plot of a film forward.

Laila O Laila (Raees): Sunny Leone set the mercury soaring with her stunning dance moves on the song Laila O Laila in Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Raees that released in January this year. The song was significant in the film as it marked Raees’s complete dominance in the underworld after eliminating his erstwhile boss Jairaj Seth. The video of the song crooned by Pawni Pandey has earned a whopping 18 crore views on YouTube.

Awari (Ek Villain): Sidharth Malhotra and Shraddha Kapoor starrer Ek Villain stood out for its melodious soundtrack. Directed by Mohit Suri, it did have an item song Awari featuring Prachi Desai. Riteish Deshmukh, who plays serial killer Rakesh Mahadkar, is taken to a bar by his close friend Brijesh (Kamaal R Khan).

Chikni Chameli (Agneepath): Hrithik Roshan starrer Agneepath was a runaway Box Office success in 2012. The remake of 1990 film of the same name boasted of impressive performances by Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt and Rishi Kapoor. The Karan Malhotra directorial also had Katrina Kaif dancing to the popular Chikni Chameli song that was a chartbuster. The song was set against the backdrop of a meeting between Vijay Dinanath Chauhan and Kancha Cheena, that marked a turning point in the film.

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Dil Mera Muft Ka (Agent Vinod): Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan starred in spy thriller Agent Vinod in 2012. Directed by Sriram Raghavan, the flick also featured an item song Dil Mera Muft Ka that became immensely popular. The number is picturised when Agent Vinod (Saif) and Iram Parveen (Kareena) go on a hunt to Pakistan for fugitive Taimur Pasha (Gulshan Grover).

Sheila Ki Jawani (Tees Maar Khan): Katrina Kaif earned widespread popularity with her sensuous performance in Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan. Although 2010 release tanked at the Box Office, the song became an all-time hit. In the film, Akshay Kumar plays a thief Tabrez Mirza Khan whereas Katrina played an actress Anya.

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Le Le Maza Le (Wanted): After a series of duds, Salman Khan witnessed a dramatic turnaround in his film career with Wanted in 2009. Since then, his Midas touch remains unaffected at the Box Office. In the film, there was an item song Le Le Maza Le that featured Mehak Chahal. If you thought the song was not needed, think again. It took place when baddie Ghani Bhai (Prakash Raj) invites Radhe (Salman) for a meeting, unaware of the fact that it was a trap to get him arrested.

Aisa Jadoo (Khakee): Amitabh Bachchan-Akshay Kumar-Aishwarya Rai-Ajay Devgn starrer Khakee earned a lot of accolades when it hit the theatres in 2003. The Rajkumar Santoshi directorial featured an item song Aisa Jadoo that had Lara Dutta groove to the tunes. The song was extremely important as Shekhar Varma (Akshay) is called to a bar by an informer. It preceded the climax of the action thriller.

Seekh Le (Munnabhai MBBS): Jimmy Shergill played a cancer-stricken patient Zaheer in Rajkumar Hirani’s directorial debut Munnabhai MBBS. Sanjay Dutt played Murli Prasad Sharma who gets admission to a medical college through fraudulent means. Zaheer is bowed by responsibilities and has given up hopes of fulfilling them. Munna’s aides get a dancer who through the song advises him to live life to the fullest.

Khallas (Company): Ajay Devgn and Vivek Oberoi starrer Company was inspired by the tussle between Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan. Sung by Asha Bhosale, Khallas featured Isha Koppikar who became a star overnight. The song was played while Malik met influential personalities of the city. It highlighted the nexus brewing between underworld and Bollywood as well.

Yeh Mera Dil Yaar Ka Deewana (Don): Amitabh Bachchan played a cold-hearted don in Chandra Barot’s gangster flick of the same name in 1978. The film also featured Zeenat Aman, Pran, Iftikhar in pivotal roles. Helen performed on the iconic Yeh Mera Dil Yaar Ka Deewana song in the film. Roped in as a honeytrap to capture Don, Kamini fails in her purpose due to the gangster’s presence of mind and is killed.

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