Isaac Hayes

GRAMMY® and Academy Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and actor Isaac Hayes (1942–2008) revolutionized soul music, breaking the mold with extended cuts, orchestration and concept albums during the era of 3-minute, radio-driven tracks.

Hayes began his career as a songwriter and producer at Stax Records, working with partner David Porter on such iconic hits as Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man” and “Hold On! I’m Comin’.” In 1968, Hayes branched out on his own with Presenting Isaac Hayes, but it wasn’t until his follow-up a year later, Hot Buttered Soul, that the artist became a genuine star in his own right, breaking ground with his deep baritone vocals and signature sonic explorations that could take up the entire side of a record.
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In 1971, Hayes scored Blaxploitation film Shaft, the title theme of which went Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, earning the artist an Academy Award, multiple GRAMMY® awards and his fourth consecutive platinum record. Later that year, he released his critically acclaimed double album, Black Moses. Hayes continued to write and record throughout the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, scoring several more films, and continuing to push himself artistically. In 1997, the artist gained a new generation of fans after he voiced the character of Chef on the long-running cartoon series South Park.

Nearly a decade after his death, Isaac Hayes’ legacy as a multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, writer and artist continues to inspire and influence new listeners. In 2017, Hayes’ work was celebrated with a series of reissued titles, all remastered from the original analog sources, as well as with the acclaimed comprehensive box set, Isaac Hayes: The Spirit of Memphis (1962-1976), which examines the artist’s innovative and prolific work both in front of the microphone, and behind the console at Stax.


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In 1957, at the height of his success, Little Richard suddenly quit his rock career after a tour of Australia.

He claimed that a vision of the apocalypse came to him in a dream, and that he saw his own damnation. In his authorized biography he tells a story of a plane flight during which the overheated engines appeared in the darkness of night to be on fire. He prayed to God and promised that if the plane landed safely he would change his ways.



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