Our favorite Isaac Hayes looksFans of early 1970's pimp style lost its most flamboyant icon on Sunday, with the possibly treadmill-related passing of Isaac Hayes.
Hayes, a father of 12 (!), was found collapsed near a treadmill at his home in Memphis, and was pronounced dead an hour later. The cause of death was not known. He was 65.
With a wardrobe comprising gold chain vests worn over a bare chest, tight spandex pants and his gleaming shades, Hayes was one of the most glamorous of the Stax male artists, a style pioneer in a class all his own. Eschewing the classic Blaxploitation afro in favor of a smooth bald pate, Hayes foreshadowed the bling era, accessorizing his looks with some of the biggest gold chains ever seen. His style would later influence artists from Snoop Dogg to Biggie Smalls.
As well as writing the Academy Award-winning “Shaft” theme, and numbers like “Soul Man” and Hold On, I’m Comin’, Hayes voiced the libidinous Chef character on “South Park” until he got fed up of all the Scientology jokes (Hayes was a fully paid up member of the Church).
Hayes stars in the upcoming "Soul Men" alongside Bernie Mac (who died just hours before he did) and Samuel L. Jackson, who we hope is taking his vitamins and staying well away from treadmills.