Multiplatinum-selling artist Isaac Hayes, dubbed “Black Moses” during the height of his popularity, revolutionized soul music, leading it out of the era of the three-minute single into a new area—the orchestrated concept album with (very) extended cuts.
Hayes began his career as a pianist and staff writer for Stax Records, and, alongside songwriting partner David Porter, wrote some of the biggest hits of the 1960’s, including “Soul Man” and “Hold On! I’m Comin’” for Sam & Dave.
Expanding his repertoire, Hayes penned the iconic soundtrack for 1971’s Shaft. The album became Hayes’s fourth consecutive platinum LP and the “Theme from Shaft” earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Though often known for his larger than life persona, Hayes’ musical accomplishments – which laid the groundwork for disco and rap – established him as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
The Ultimate Isaac Hayes: Can You Dig It?