Isaac Lee Hayes (born August 20, 1942, in Covington, Tennessee) is an actor, soul singer, Academy Award- winning songwriter, musician, and arranger. He voiced the character Chef, a singing ladies' man and elementary school cook, on the animated sitcom South Park.
In 1972, Hayes won an Oscar for Best Original Song for the film Shaft. Hayes became the first African American to win an Academy Award in a non-acting category. After Hattie McDaniel, James Baskett and Sidney Poitier, he became only the fourth performer of African descent to ever receive an Academy Award. He was also nominated in the Best Original Score category (for Shaft) as well.
Hayes won Grammy awards for:
Best Instrumental Arrangement, Theme From Shaft (arranged with Johnny Allen) in 1971 Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special,Theme From Shaft in 1971 Best Pop Instrumental Performance By An Arranger, Composer, Orchestra and/or Choral Leader, Black Moses in 1972 In 1992, Hayes was crowned an honorary king of Ghana's Ada district thanks to his humanitarian deeds.
On June 9, 2005, Hayes was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame alongside Bill Withers, Steve Cropper, Robert B. Sherman, Richard M. Sherman, John Fogerty and his longtime writing partner David Porter.