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TOP TEN 08′: #6 Isaac Hayes ‘Black Moses’

Known to some as Black Moses and others simply as Isaac, the iconic soul man Isaac Hayes passed in 2008. Soulful and inspiring, Isaac Hayes’ career transcended across generations. To one generation he was remembered for picking up an Oscar for the 1971 hit Theme From Shaft, for another he was remembered as the voice of Chef from the hit cartoon show, South Park, but at the end of the day it was Hayes’ music that captivated our attention. Hayes – along with Al Green, James Brown and Stevie Wonder – was one of the most dominant soul artists in the early 1970s. The star, a self-taught musician, was hired in 1964 by Stax Records as a pianist and saxophonist, working as a session musician for big names such as Otis Redding. He established a songwriting partnership with David Porter, and in the 1960s, writing hits for Sam and Dave such as Hold On, I’m Coming and Soul Man. This success led to a recording contract, and in 1969 he shot to fame with the release of the groundbreaking album Hot Buttered Soul. The theme from the film Shaft was a number one hit in 1971. He won an Academy Award for the song and was nominated for another one for the score. The song and score also won him two Grammys. In a statement released from The Recording Academy, the body behind the Grammys, president Neil Portnow called him a “true renaissance man”. He added: “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. “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,” added Mr. Portnow. When he was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, he put his success down to good chance. “I knew nothing about the business, or trends and things like that,” he said. “I think it was a matter of timing. I didn’t know what was unfolding.” Hayes was also in several movies, including It Could Happen to You with Nicolas Cage, and Ninth Street with Martin Sheen. He achieved a different of popularity later in life as the voice of the South Park character, Chef. Sources: BBC News, AP, Stax

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