Isaac Hayes dies

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 11 August 2008
Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes dies

Isaac Hayes has passed away.

The singer-songwriter was found by his wife at his home in Tennessee, US yesterday (10.08.08).

Isaac, 65, was rushed to a hospital but pronounced dead an hour later.

The cause of death has not yet been established, although it is believed he suffered a simultaneous heart attack and stroke. Isaac had previously suffered a minor stroke in 2006.

Isaac's wife Adjowa and the couple's two-year-old son returned to their home shortly after noon yesterday and found Isaac unconscious on the floor near his treadmill where he had been exercising.

A police spokesperson said: "Family members believe it is a medical condition that might have led to his death. Mr. Hayes was being treated for a number of medical issues."

Isaac's career as composer and singer spanned four decades. He began his career in the 60s as a songwriter for Stax records in his native Memphis, arranging tunes for artists such as Otis Reading and Sam and Dave. He co-wrote soul classics such as 'Soul Man' and 'Hold On I'm Coming'.

Isaac - dubbed 'The Black Moses' after one of his albums - released his first solo album in 1967 and subsequently helped create the template for disco in the 70s. In 1971, he won an Oscar and a Grammy award for his 'Theme From Shaft', taken from his score for the film 'Shaft'.

He was also known for his distinctive voice and look - bald and adorned with gold chains.

Isaac also had a successful career as an actor, appearing in TV shows 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air', 'Miami Vice' and 'The A-Team' as well as films such as 'Escape From New York' and 'It Could Happen to You'.

His trademark deep, rich voice helped him reach a new generation of fans as he voiced the character of Chef in cartoon 'South Park' from 1997 until 2006.

Isaac was married four times during his life and fathered 12 children. Many stars have issued statements praising his work and achievements and offered messages of condolence to his family.

Elvis Presley's former wife Priscilla said: "We have lost not only an incredible talent but a wonderful leader to his community and a dear friend. To me there will only be one Isaac Hayes, gifting us with years of performing, writing and a voice that penetrated deep into our souls. He is to be admired for changing his life around and standing steadfast to his beliefs, his integrity and to helping others."

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