There are some people who have been around for so long you cannot imagine a world without them or the possibility that one day they will no longer be around. Isaac Hayes was one of those people.
I can’t remember a point in my life when I didn’t know the name. Isaac Hayes was a household name in Sierra Leone when I was growing up and, after I moved to the US, I discovered he was an even bigger name here. He won an Oscar and a Grammy for the soundtrack to the 1971 movie Shaft and wrote music for the likes of Otis Redding and Sam and Dave.
Sadly, this illustrious life came to an end on Sunday, when Isaac Hayes was found dead in his home in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 65 years old.
In related sad news, comedian and actor Bernie Mac died on Saturday of complications from pneumonia. He was 50 years old. Bernie Mac Mac won a Peabody Award for The Bernie Mac Show, which was also nominated for the Golden Globe and Emmy Awards. He first burst onto the national scene for his part in The Original Kings of Comedy. He also appeared in Charlie’s Angels (2003), Transformers (2007), and Guess Who, a remake of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.
Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes had been working together on an upcoming film, Soul Men. I’m at a loss for words.
Thanks for the music. Thanks for the laughs. The world is a slightly darker and less fun place now.
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The Guardian published a brilliant tribute to Isaac Hayes.