With memorable hits emanating from Memphis musicians, it’s no surprise that movie studios like to feature Memphis music on the big screen. Isaac Hayes (SHAFT) and Three 6 Mafia (Hustle & Flow) each took home the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
In 1972, Isaac Hayes made history when he became the first Black man to receive an Oscar for a non-acting category, claiming Best Original Song for "Theme From Shaft." In 2006, Three 6 Mafia won the Oscar for their hit "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," becoming the first rap group ever to win an Academy Award.
WHERE TO GO NEXT
All points of interest below are mapped from the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, just steps from the bollards and FedExForum.
Walk 5 minutes
Memphis Music Hall of Fame
Memphis’ most acclaimed hip-hop group, Three 6 Mafia, won the Oscar for Best Original Song: “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” featured in the 2006 motion picture Hustle & Flow. Today, you can see the group’s Academy Award and an autographed lyric sheet at the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
Drive 9 minutes
Stax Museum of American Soul Music
From writing hits for Sam & Dave to recording his own Grammy Award-winning music, Isaac Hayes left an unmistakable sonic legacy. Learn more at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, including how Hayes became the first Black artist to win the Oscar for “Best Original Song” with “(Theme from) Shaft.”
Drive 13 minutes
Pay respects to Memphis music legend Isaac Hayes at his burial site in Memorial Park. Across from Hayes’ memorial, you’ll find the Crystal Shrine Grotto. This man-made cave, filled with religious artwork depicting the life of Jesus, is part of the National Historic Register.
Explore the people, stories and places behind the bollard art outside FedExForum. Use this slider to sneak a peek at everything soul-, funk- and R&B-related, from the art itself to local points of interest.