American singer-songwriter Isaac Hayes has died at his home in Memphis, Tennessee, aged just 65. The soul legend was found dead by his wife in his private gym. His fitness regime was a testament to his continued passion for performing live, which he did right up until his death over the weekend. Hayes had previously suffered a stroke in 2006.
Hayes had two distinct periods to his early career. He first came to prominence as a songwriter at Stax Records in Memphis, where his initial job as session musician (for, amongst others, Otis Redding) led to the establishment of a songwriting partnership with David Porter. His list of songwriting credits at Stax is very long, but they include international hits for artist such as Sam And Dave, William Bell, and Booker T And The MGs. Such success led to a second career, as a recording artist of his own, and in 1969 he shot
to fame with the release of the innovative album Hot Buttered Soul. Hayes then went on to dominant black music during the early 1970s. He won an Oscar and two Grammys for the 1971 number one hit Theme From Shaft.
Collin Stanback from the new Stax told Associated Press that the star "embodies everything that’s soul music. When you think of soul music, you think of Isaac
Hayes – the expression, the sound and the creativity that goes along
with it". He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, and also starred in several movies (including It Could Happen to You). Latterly Hayes did voiceover work for cartoon series South Park.
Enjoy this footage of Hayes in his 1969 deep-voiced prime, performing the Burt Bacharach/Hal David classic ‘Walk On By’ in his own inimitable style.