Isaac Hayes was the second-born child of Isaac Sr. and Eula Hayes, but was raised by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Willie Wade Sr. The child of a poor family, he grew up picking cotton in Covington, Tennessee. He dropped out of high school, only to be encouraged later by his former high school teachers to get his diploma. He earned his diploma at the age of 21. Otis Redding, Johnnie Taylor, The Bar-Kays and Booker T. Jones (later of Booker T. & the M.G.s fame) were some of the “Memphis Sound” musical luminaries Hayes worked with during his early years as a budding musician and vocalist. He is a multi-talented composer, singer and arranger who plays the piano, vibraphone and saxophone equally well. In 1971 he won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for a Motion Picture for the “Theme from Shaft” (1970) and was nominated for Best Original Dramatic Score for Shaft (1971).
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