Oscar Artists: Hayes, Isaac–Winning Musician for Shaft Dies at 65

August 10, 2008–Isaac Hayes, the songwriter, singer, and musician whose “Theme From Shaft” won the Oscar and Grammy awards, was found dead at his Memphis home. He was 65.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said a family member found Hayes unresponsive near a treadmill on Sunday. He was pronounced dead an hour later at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis, and the cause of death was not immediately known.

In the early 1970s, Hayes laid the groundwork for disco, for what became known as urban-contemporary music and for romantic crooners like Barry White. And he was rapping before there was rap.

His career hit another high in 1997 when he became the voice of Chef, the sensible school cook and devoted ladies man on the animated TV show “South Park.”