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Isaac Hayes

Born: 1942-08-20 - Died: 2008-08-10
Cause of Death:

Death Summary: Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. was found on the floor, near his treadmill, by his wife. He was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, where he was pronounced dead at 2:08 p.m. Hayes was 65, and had a birthday in only ten days. The official cause of his death was finally ruled to be a stroke.

Who was Isaac Hayes : Hayes was a multi-talented funk and soul musician, record producer, composer, arranger, songwriter, and actor (films included "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" and "Escape From New York" alongside the late Donald Pleasence). He is best known for his theme song for the film Shaft and the voice actor for the character Chef on South Park. Find out how another voice actor on South Park died.

Hayes was raised in Covington, Tennessee by his grandparents. He started singing at the age of five at his local church, soon after he taught himself how to play the flute, saxophone, electronic organ, and the piano.

He achieved commercial success with his second album entitled Hot Buttered Soul, and is considered a milestone in the development of soul music.

In 1971 Hayes composed the theme song for the blaxploitation film Shaft, which would become the trademark song of his career.

In the 1990’s Hayes became a very popular voice actor on the show South Park with his character of Chef. Hayes would always have a song to sing to the children to help explain foreign or unknown subjects to them.

In late 2005 an episode of South Park, Trapped in the Closet, ran which made fun of the religion Scientology. Hayes, being a Scientologist himself, didn’t find the episode very funny and asked Comedy Central to release him from his contract. This was not taken very well by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park. You can see their feelings of the subject in the episode entitled "The Return of Chef”.
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