Famous Like Me > Singer > H > Isaac Hayes
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Profile of Isaac Hayes
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- This article is about the musician, for the Arctic explorer see Isaac Israel Hayes.
Isaac Hayes (born August 20, 1942 in Covington, Tennessee) is an influential American soul singer, songwriter, musician and arranger.
Hayes began his recording career in 1962, soon playing saxophone for The Mar-Keys. After a period of activity with Stax Records, Hayes released Presenting Isaac Hayes. A moderate success, the album was recorded immediately following a wild party.
The top-selling Hot Buttered Soul (1969) was a breakthrough album, and established his image (gold jewelry, sunglasses, etc) which eventually became a template for much of the fashion of gangsta rap and similar trends in the 1980s and 90s. Hayes' biggest hit was 1971's soundtrack to Shaft. The title song won an Oscar (the first for an African American composer), and clearly presaged disco. Black Moses (1971) became almost as successful.
By 1975, Hayes left Stax Records and formed his own label called Hot Buttered Soul Records. A series of unsuccessful albums led to Hayes' bankruptcy in 1976. The late 1970s saw a major comeback for Hayes, following the release of A Man and a Woman (1977, with Dionne Warwick). In spite of moderate success as a singer, Hayes' records did not sell very well.
Despite Hayes' bankruptcy, he is also an actor on TV shows and feature films. When Shaft was being filmed, Hayes wanted the lead role, which went to Richard Roundtree; director Gordon Parks was impressed with Hot Buttered Soul where Hayes ended up scoring the film's music. In the 1970s and 1980s he had appeared in some TV shows, including The Rockford Files and The A-Team. He appeared as the title role in Truck Turner (1974) (the only film he ever had a leading role), The Duke of New York in Escape from New York (1981), and as "Hammer" in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988).
By the late 1990s, he was best known as the voice of Chef on South Park. A song from the series performed by Chef, "Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You)", received some international radio airplay in 1999 and subsequently appeared on the album Chef Aid: The South Park Album in 2002.
Hayes was inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
In 2004, Hayes appeared in a recurring minor role as the Jaffa Tolok on the television series Stargate SG-1. The following year, he appeared in the critically acclaimed independent film Hustle & Flow.
Hayes is also an outspoken Scientologist, frequently identified by Scientology as a success story and great example of the positive effects that Scientology can bring. He has called Scientology the "gateway to eternity" and "the path to happiness and total spiritual freedom."
- Soul in Cinema: Filming 'Shaft' on Location (1971) (short subject)
- Save the Children (1973) (documentary)
- Wattstax (1973) (documentary)
- Truck Turner (1974)
- Three Tough Guys (1974)
- It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (1975)
- Escape from New York (1981)
- Counterforce (1987)
- Dead Aim (1987)
- I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)
- Fire, Ice & Dynamite (1989) (Cameo)
- Guilty as Charged (1991)
- Prime Target (1991)
- Final Judgement (1992)
- Deadly Exposure (1993)
- CB4 (1993)
- Posse (1993)
- Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
- Oblivion (1994)
- It Could Happen to You (1994)
- Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored (1995)
- Oblivion 2: Backlash (1996)
- Orientation: A Scientology Information Film (1996) (short subject)
- Flipper (1996)
- Illtown (1996)
- Uncle Sam (1997)
- Six Ways to Sunday (1997)
- Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) (Cameo)
- Ninth Street (1999)
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) (voice)
- Reindeer Games (2000)
- Shaft (2000) (Cameo)
- Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001) (voice only)
- Chelsea Walls (2001) (Cameo)
- Only the Strong Survive (2002) (documentary)
- Soulsville (2003) (documentary)
- Dodge City: A Spaghetto Western (2004)
- Dream Warrior (2004)
- Return to Sleepaway Camp (2005)
- Hustle & Flow (2005)
- United (2005) (short subject)
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