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Isaac Hayes

Few figures exerted greater influence over the music of the 1960s and 1970s than Isaac Hayes; after laying the groundwork for the Memphis soul sound through his work with Stax-Volt Records, Hayes began a highly successful solo career which predated not only the disco movement but also the evolution of rap.

Hayes was born on August 20, 1942, in Covington, TN; his parents died during his infancy, and he was raised by his grandparents. After making his public debut singing in church at the age of five, he taught himself piano, organ, and saxophone before moving to Memphis to perform on the city's club circuit in a series of short-lived groups like Sir Isaac and the Doo-Dads, the Teen Tones, and Sir Calvin and His Swinging Cats. In 1962, he began his recording career, cutting sides for a variety of local labels.

Two years later, Hayes began playing sax with the Mar-Keys, which resulted in the beginning of his long association with Stax Records. After playing on several sessions for Otis Redding, Hayes was tapped to play keyboards in the Stax house band, and eventually established a partnership with songwriter David Porter. Under the name the Soul Children, the Hayes-Porter duo composed some 200 songs, reeling off a string of hits for Stax luminaries like Sam & Dave (the brilliant "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby," "Soul Man," and "Hold on, I'm Comin'"), Carla Thomas ("B-A-B-Y"), and Johnnie Taylor ("I Got to Love Somebody's Baby," "I Had a Dream").

In 1967, Hayes issued his debut solo LP Presenting Isaac Hayes, a loose, jazz-flavored effort recorded in the early-morning hours following a raucous Stax party. With the release of 1969's landmark Hot Buttered Soul, he made his commercial breakthrough; the record's adventuresome structure (comprising four lengthy songs), ornate arrangements, and sensual grooves -- combined with the imposing figure cut by his shaven head, omnipresent sunglasses, and fondness for gold jewelry -- made Hayes one of the most distinctive figures in music.

After a pair of 1970 releases, The Isaac Hayes Movement and To Be Continued, he reached his commercial zenith in 1971 with the release of Shaft, the score from the Gordon Parks film of the same name. Not only did the album win Hayes an Academy Award for Best Score (the first African-American composer to garner such an honor), but the single "Theme from Shaft," a masterful blend of prime funk and pre-rap monologues, became a number one hit.

After 1971's superb Black Moses and 1973's Joy, Hayes composed two 1974 soundtracks, Tough Guys and Truck Turner (in which he also starred). By 1975, relations with Stax had disintegrated following a battle over royalties, and soon he severed his ties with the label to form his own Hot Buttered Soul imprint. Although both 1975's Chocolate Chip and 1976's Groove-a-Thon went gold, his records of the period attracted considerably less attention than prior efforts; combined with poor management and business associations, Hayes had no choice but to file for bankruptcy in 1976.

After the 1977 double-LP A Man and a Woman, recorded with Dionne Warwick, Hayes began a comeback on the strength of the hit singles "Zeke the Freak," "Don't Let Go." and "Do You Wanna Make Love." Following the success of his 1979 collection of duets with Millie Jackson titled Royal Rappins, he issued a pair of solo records, 1980's And Once Again and 1981's Lifetime Thing before retiring from music for five years. After returning in 1986 with the LP U Turn and the Top Ten R&B hit "Ike's Rap," Hayes surfaced two years later with Love Attack before again dropping out of music to focus on acting.

In 1995, fully enshrined as one of the forefathers of hip-hop and newly converted to Scientology, Hayes emerged with two concurrent releases, the vocal Branded and instrumental Raw and Refined. Under the official name Nene Katey Ocansey I, he also served as a member of the royal family of the African nation of Ghana while continuing simultaneous careers as an actor, composer, and humanitarian. In 1997, Hayes provided the voice of what was slated to be a one-time character on the animated series South Park -- Jerome "Chef" McElroy, the main characters' favorite school cafeteria worker. Hayes was an instant hit, and Chef became a regular character on the show, lending advice and, oftentimes, breaking into songs that gently sent up Hayes' image as one of R&B's ultimate love men.

South Park made Hayes more visible than ever and cemented his status as an icon with a whole new generation. He contributed the infamous "Chocolate Salty Balls" to the South Park tie-in album Chef Aid, and naturally appeared in the film South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut. (He left the show only after an episode made fun of Scientology.) In 2000, Hayes revisited his biggest triumph of the past by appearing in the remake of Shaft starring Samuel L. Jackson. The following year, he supported Alicia Keys as a musician and arranger on her acclaimed debut, Songs in A Minor. Although he recorded little during the 2000s, he appeared in many films, including 2004's Hustle and Flow. Hayes was in ill health on August 10, 2008, when he collapsed at his home in Memphis and was pronounced dead later that day of a stroke due to high blood pressure. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Love this music .me gusta mucho
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Love him, he's bad
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I love you Isaac Hayes.
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Isaac Hayes was the man then and now that was real music!!
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Do. Your. Thang every. One. !!!!!!
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Love. This. Tune. No. Shaft. Without. Isaac. Isaac. Was. A. Bad. Mother. F
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selamins
A God-send! Always leaves you breathless. Jammin' in the Realm of the Ancestors!
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Mr.Black Moses stood out like no other that heavy voice shaft is a bad mother shut your mouth i have 8 tracks and cassettes now i still play them in my home also in my restored 1975buick lesabre custom convertible yes sir RIP Isaac Hayes
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Love love love his music!!����
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A baddddddd man
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Sexy yesss
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F**king Groovy Man!! All I have to say Baby..... Pimp'n. NEW ORLEANS..UPT O W N
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lilnate216
He killed this song
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This one the first albums I bought at 13; and still the best.
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I went to see him in person, what a show to see.
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db_rollin64
I ♥..... If I Had You by Frankie - He sampled The Look Of Love by the late GREAT Isaac Hayes!
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FOUNDATION OF PRINCIPLES
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All I have to say, ( HOTT BUTTER SOUL )! R I P Mr. I. Hayes....... .
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Ohe of the artist of the late 60's and 70's, he created his style. You know I still have my 8 track of Issac. Driving in my 62 Volkswagen bug in the 70's and getting stoned, listening to Issac and a bunch of Motown artusts, can't fir the British Invasion. ...awsome time if my life.
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lavattam
I Stand Accused is the song!!
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I miss my friend God bless u always
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.One Of The Best (RIP) *!*
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R.i.p. my friend
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Tha real ICE MAN live @Sahara tahoe
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Yes sir!
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Shaft, this cat shaft is a bad---- mutha*
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He so sexy l love this mucis
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loved hot butterd soul the best album ever!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !
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One of his best is I Stand Accused
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A man who put so much heart into his music should die from a heart attack,so please take care your heart.thank you
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CHILD OF GOD IN THE SPIRIT...
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The Black Moses!!!!!!
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Isaac Hayes was truly a great composer, singer and musician. I truly enjoyed his concerts. I also have a video of a song he did with the Memphis symphony its an instrumental Memphis in May it was never recorded on any of his albums. Isaac forever!!!
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That tune there.that's the s**t
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19sandy62
Great music. ....just classic. ...
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Sorry for what I'm about to say but Isaac Hayes is truly the REAL MAESTRO, don't believe me go back to HOT Buttered Soul
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:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)
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Love you Ike.by th time I get 2 phonix
RIP
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Later
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chain vest CLASSIC!! we miss you, Issac RIP
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Peace by Any-Means-Ne c e s s a r y
LOVE'S Disciple*978 * ~ 7 m 1 4 y ~
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HopE!
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jrnowords
Southpark
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Truly one the greatest musicians of iur times, classic. Brings back my youth in the 70's
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I miss you Isaac Hayes. You had such a sense of style that musicians today lack. You were the man with such quiet dignity and you showed respect for what you did.
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He was simply the best
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Isaac Hayes is One Of My Most Favorite Artist Im definitly A Lifetime Fan He Left A Legacy Of Beautiful Inspiring Uplifting Informative Music.
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One of the best from ISAAC HAYES RASHON IBN ALMUHYI NEWARK, N.J.
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Hot Buttered Souul.
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His music was special.
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