Cuba Gooding, Sr., the lead singer for soul group the Main Ingredient and father of actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., has died, Billboard reports. He was 72.
Gooding was found dead in his car on Thursday in Woodland Hills, CA, according to TMZ.
Gooding Sr. had served as a backing singer on some recordings for the Main Ingredient before stepping into the lead role in 1971, following the death of former lead singer Donald McPherson. The group garnered several gold singles, including their highest-charting hit, 1972’s “Everybody Plays the Fool,” “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely,” “Happiness is Just Around the Bend” and “Rolling Down a Mountainside.”
Gooding was born April 27, 1944 in New York. He grew up with Main Ingredient members Tony Sylvester, Luther Simmons, Jr. and Donald McPherson in Harlem. Sylvester, Simmons and McPherson formed the group the Poets, which then became the Insiders before renaming themselves the Main Ingredient. Gooding worked with the group as a backing singer, but when McPherson became too sick to tour, Gooding sang lead during live concerts. McPherson was diagnosed with leukemia and died on July 4, 1971.
With Gooding as lead singer, the group had their first million-selling single with “Everybody Plays the Fool.” It held the No. 2 spot on the R&B chart for three weeks and hit No. 3 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart. They also scored Top 10 R&B hits with “Just Don’t Want to be Lonely,” “Happiness is Just Around the Bend” and “Rolling Down a Mountainside.”
Gooding signed with Motown Records in 1977 as a solo artist, where he released two albums. His debut, The 1st Album, housed his charting single “Mind Pleaser.” In 1979 he re-teamed with the Main Ingredient and worked with them through the Eighties. In 1983 Gooding recorded a remake of “Happiness is Just Around the Bend,” which became a dance hit. Gooding also scored a hit in 2012 with “This Christmas.”
He had four children with his wife Shirley Gooding: actors Cuba Gooding, Jr., Omar Gooding and April Gooding, and musician Tommy Gooding.
This story is developing