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Isaac Hayes Biography

Birth Name:
Isaac Lee Hayes Jr.
Birth Place:
Covington, Tennessee, United States
Singer, songwriter, actor

Fast Facts

  • Raised by his sharecropper grandparents
  • Made singing debut in church at age 5
  • Taught himself to play piano, organ and saxophone
  • Joined Stax Records as a backup pianist in 1964, where his first session was with Otis Redding
  • Cowrote (with David Porter) such all-time classics as "Soul Man" and "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby
  • " Laid the groundwork for both disco and rap with such classic LPs as Hot Buttered Soul (1969), The Isaac Hayes Movement (1970) and Shaft (1971)
  • Nicknamed "Black Moses
  • " Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002
  • Gave voice to South Park's Chef until 2006, when he quit after an episode criticized Scientology
  • Involved in humanitarian efforts in the West African country of Ghana; his commitment was honored by King Nene Kubi III, who bestowed a kingship on Hayes in 1992
  • at his coronation, Hayes was given the royal moniker Nene KateyOcansey I


  • 2005Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: nominated
  • 1972BAFTA Film Awards-The Anthony Asquith Award: nominated
  • 1972Golden Globe-Best Original Song - Motion Picture: nominated
  • 1972Golden Globe-Best Original Score - Motion Picture: winner
  • 1971Oscar-Best Achievement in Music (Original Dramatic Score): nominated
  • 1971Oscar-Best Achievement in Music (Song--Original for the Picture): winner


  • Felicia -- Daughter
  • Heather -- Daughter
  • Veronica -- Daughter
  • Mignon Harley -- Ex-wife
  • Isaac Hayes Sr. -- Father
  • Eula Hayes -- Mother
  • Willette -- Sister
  • Ike III -- Son
  • Nana Kwadjo Hayes -- Son
  • Adjowa Hayes -- Wife