|Soul crooner who laid the groundwork for disco and whose "Theme from Shaft" won both an Oscar and a Grammy in 1971. In his spoken introductions and interludes, Hayes was rapping before there was rap. His career hit another high in 1997 when he became the voice of Chef, school cook and ladies' man on the animated TV show South Park. Ten days before his 66th birthday, Hayes was found unconscious after collapsing near a treadmill at his home and was pronounced dead of a stroke at a hospital, in Memphis, Tennessee on August 10, 2008.
~Life in Legacy