"Theme from Shaft", written and recorded by Isaac Hayes in 1971, is the soul- and funk-styled theme song to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film Shaft. The theme was released as a single (shortened and edited from the longer album version) two months after the movie's soundtrack by Stax Records' Enterprise label. "Theme from Shaft" went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in November 1971. The song was also well-received by adult audiences, reaching number six on Billboard's Easy Listening (later Adult Contemporary) chart.
The following year, "Theme from Shaft" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, with Hayes becoming the first African American to win that honor (or any Academy Award in a non-acting category). Since then, the song has appeared in numerous television shows, commercials, and other movies, including the 2000 remake of Shaft, for which Hayes re-recorded the song without making any changes to it.
In 2000, Hayes told National Public Radio that he had only agreed to write and record the Shaft score after Shaft producer Joel Freeman promised him an audition for the lead role. He never got the chance to audition, but kept his end of the deal anyway....