MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Pioneering singer, songwriter and musician Isaac Hayes has died in Memphis. He was 65.
Authorities say a family member found him unresponsive near a running treadmill at his home. He was pronounced dead an hour later at a hospital. The cause of death is not yet known.
Along with his mellow, deep, voice, Hayes is also remembered for his striking visual image -- sunglasses, shaven head and gold chains. Hayes ' 1971 Number-1 hit "Theme From Shaft" won Academy and Grammy awards. But it was his 1969 album "Hot Buttered Soul" that first made him a star. He sang in a "cool" style, he prefaced the songs with "raps," and the numbers had lush arrangements that ran longer than three minutes. Hayes became the voice of Chef on "South Park" in 1997. But he angrily left the show saying an episode mocked his religion, Scientology.