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Overview for Isaac Hayes
Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes


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Also Known As: Isaac Lee Hayes Jr. Died: August 10, 2008
Born: August 20, 1942 Cause of Death: stroke
Birth Place: Covington, Tennessee, USA Profession: Music ... singer songwriter actor arranger music producer


Perhaps no other songwriter and musician summed up soul, R&B and funk than Isaac Hayes. Once dubbed "Black Moses," Hayes emerged from being a sideman and songwriter for Stax Records to become the embodiment of early 1970s soul music. After introducing himself with the jazz-influenced Presenting Isaac Hayes, Hayes became a top-selling artist with Hot Buttered Soul and an Academy Award winner for his theme song to the revered blaxploitation flick, "Shaft" (1971). But once he reached the mid-1970s, Hayes' success on the charts began to wan, eventually forcing him into bankruptcy. Though he tried several times to churn out another top album - even to the point of embracing disco - Hayes never again saw one of his albums crack the Top 20. He did, however, find a vibrant second career in films and on television, appearing in small roles in "Escape from New York" (1981), "Dead Aim" (1987) and "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" (1988). Hayes attracted a new generation of fans by voicing Chef on the popular animated comedy, "South Park" (Comedy Central, 1997- ), though he was forced to leave in 2006 after creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone lampooned Scientology, his chosen religion since 1995. But in the end, Hayes was largely remembered for his lush, funk soul music, which gained the admiration of later musicians from all genres, from rock-n-roll to rap to R&B.

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