Isaac Hayes, the iconic soul man whose sexy baritone earned him the nickname “the Black Moses” – and who became the first black composer to snag an Oscar – died today at his Memphis home, officials said. He was 65.
Officers went to Hayes’ home after his wife found him on the floor near a treadmill in his house. Hayes was pronounced dead at 2:08 a.m. 10 August at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis.
His best-known work remains the “Shaft” theme, which brassily declared the film’s private detective hero to be a bad motherf***** – and won him the Oscar for best song in 1971.
Hayes worked for Stax Records in the 1960s, and with writing partner David Porter penned some of the biggest hits for R & B stalwarts Sam and Dave like, “You Don’t Know Like I Know,” “Hold On I’m Coming” and the Grammy-winning “Soul Man.”
Hayes also worked with Otis Redding, Booker T and the MGs, the Bar-Kays and Rufus Thomas of “Funky Chicken” fame.
But Hayes’ work as a singer shot him to fame around the world, starting with his 1969 album, “Hot Buttered Soul.”
With his bald head, low growl and shirt made out of chains, Hayes became a sex symbol who was nicknamed “the Black Moses.”