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Issac Hayes was an American musician. His hit song "Soul Man" and the musical score for the 1971 film Shaft are legendary contributions to modern music.
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He also appeared in more than three dozen feature films, including I'm Gonna 'Git You, Sucka (1988), Guilty as Charged (1991), Escape from New York (1996) and Hustle & Flow (2005). Isaac Hayes returned to the music charts in 1986 with a new record deal with Columbia and a new album, U-Turn. In 1997 Hayes found a second career in with Comedy Central's animated cable series South Park. He was the voice of Chef,
the cafeteria cook and self-professed ladies man who became a mentor to the students of South Park. The character was "the perfect alter ego for Hayes," said his Web site. However, he angrily quit in 2006 after an episode mocked Scientology, a religion he followed since the mid 1990s.
In 2002, Hayes was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his influence on disco, urban-contemporary music and rap. He also moved back home to Memphis where he pursed business interests, including two restaurants, a best-selling cookbook and barbecue sauces. He also wrote a self-help book, The Way to Happiness, and summarized his life experience in an interview: "At the end of the day, we are responsible for our own lives."
Hayes was married four times and fathered 12 children. He died of a stroke August 10, 2008, after his wife, son and his wife's cousin found him unconscious at his home in Memphis, Tennessee. He is survived by his fourth wife, Adjowa, whom he married in 2005 and with whom he had a son.
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