Soul singer Isaac Hayes dies at age 65

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Grammy Award and Academy Award winning musician and vocalist Isaac Hayes was found dead in his home in Memphis, Tennessee in the United States.

Hayes in 1973.
Image: John White.

According to initial police reports, his wife found him collapsed near a treadmill exercise machine in their home after she returned from running errands. The Shelby County Sheriffs Department responded to his wife's phone call and took Mr. Hayes to Baptist East Hospital in Memphis, where he was pronounced dead at 2:08 AM EST. Hayes was 65.

Born Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. in 1942, he became a noted soul and funk music artist, whose work also included singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger, composer, and actor. His body of work includes soundtracks to the Blaxploitation films Shaft (in which he appeared in a cameo role), Three Tough Guys, and Truck Turner (acting in a featured role both films).

He also provided the voice of the character Chef on the animated TV series South Park, but left after the episode "Trapped In the Closet", which was a satire on the controversial Church of Scientology, of which Hayes was a member.