Not that many artists had  greater influence over the music of the 1960s and 1970s than Isaac Hayes; after laying the groundwork for the Memphis soul sound through his work with Stax-Volt Records, Isaac began a highly successful solo career which predated not only the disco movement but also the evolution of rap.

After a pair of 1970 releases, he reached his commercial zenith in 1971 with the release of Shaft.  Not only did the album win him an Academy Award for Best Score (the first African-American composer to garner such an honor), but the single "Theme from Shaft," a masterful blend of prime funk and pre-rap monologues, became a number one hit.

Hayes was in ill health on August 10, 2008, when he collapsed at his home in Memphis and was pronounced dead later that day of a stroke due to high blood pressure.