Isaac Hayes: Dead At 65

isaac hayesLOS ANGELES, IL (RUSHPRNEWS)AUGUST 11, 2008 – Just one day after Bernie Mac died, another black entertainment icon has passed away.

Academy Award-winning soul music legend Isaac Hayes died in Memphis today at age 65.

His former manager Onzie Horne confirmed to media outlets that relatives found Hayes unconscious in his home next to a still-running treadmill.

Paramedics attempted to revive him and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m., Steve Shular, a spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, said.

Hayes, a Covington, Tennessee native, made history by winning an Oscar for ‘Theme from ‘Shaft’ – the first African American to do so.

He also won a Grammy Award and Golden Globe Award for the timeless classic.

Along with close friend David Porter, Hayes also crafted hits for the Stax Records label, including Sam and Dave classics ‘Soul Man’ and ‘When Something is Wrong With My Baby.’

On his own, his body of work includes collaborations with Millie Jackson, Barry White, Dionne Warwick, Donald Byrd, Tom Jones and Alicia Keys, among many others.

Known as “Black Moses,” Hayes — as a song stylist of the highest degree and a multi-talented instrumentalist — personified black soul music during the 1970s era.

Younger fans may know him for supplying the voice of the character Chef on the hit cartoon series ‘South Park.’ A devout Scientologist, he would later resign from the show citing religious reasons.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, alongside Bill WIthers and John Fogerty.

Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy, referred to Hayes as “a true renaissance man” in a statement issued today.

“After laying the groundwork for the Memphis soul sound through his work with Stax Records, his groundbreaking theme song and score for the movie ‘Shaft’ cemented his status as a musical icon,” Portnow continued about the three-time Grammy Award winner.

“He was actively involved with our Memphis Chapter, sharing his creativity with established professionals and up-and-coming musicians alike,” he said, adding that “the world has lost a true creative genius and a passionate humanitarian, but his indelible legacy will remain ever present. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and all who were inspired by the man and his music.”

Hayes, who appeared in the John Singleton-produced movie ‘Hustle & Flow,’ will next be seen alongside Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson in the film ‘Soul Men.’

source: Karu F. Daniels, BlackVoices.com