Isaac Hayes Dies; Goodbye to the Chef

There are two roles for which Isaac Hayes will most fondly be remembered. The self-proclaimed Black Moses crooned the “Theme from Shaft” back in 1972 for which he won both a Grammy, as well as an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

In addition to the accolades, the 65-year-old singer with the velvety voice earned himself a place in popular culture when he asked the question: “Who’s the black private dick / That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?”

This question became rhetorical after the song gained widespread popularity.

Hayes gained new generation of fans when he voiced the iconic Chef on the cult phenomenon South Park. Known for doling out sexy yet thoughtful advice, Chef tended to burst into spontaneous song, offering quite often to “lay you down.”

On Sunday, August 10, Hayes was discovered unconscious next to his treadmill by wife Adjowa at his home in Tennessee. A history of high-blood pressure and a stroke in January of 2007 hint that the singer had been exercising when he collapsed. He was pronounced dead at the Baptist East Hospital in Memphis, presumed to have died from natural causes.