Cuba Gooding Jr's soul singer father found dead at 72

Soul singer Cuba Gooding Sr, the father of Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr, has died.

Gooding Jr’s publicist confirmed the death of the 72-year-old, who was the lead singer of soul group The Main Ingredient and had a brief solo career with Motown Records.

His body was reportedly found in a parked car in the San Fernando Valley in California on Thursday afternoon.

Cuba Gooding Jr
Cuba Gooding Jr (Matt Crossick/PA)

The cause of death is being investigated but drug paraphernalia and alcohol were found in the vehicle, Ed Winter, spokesman for the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office, said.

Los Angeles Police Department did not name Gooding Sr, but confirmed it investigated the death of a man found in a car on Ventura Boulevard, Woodland Hills, at around 1pm.

A police spokesman said there was “no indication of foul play or homicide” and the case had been passed to the coroner.

Los Angeles Fire Department said it responded to a medical aid request in the street shortly before 1pm.

Gooding Sr’s biggest hits with The Main Ingredient were Everybody Plays The Fool in 1972 and Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely in 1974.


A post shared by Cuba Gooding Jr (@cubagoodingjr) on

His son Cuba, who won the best supporting actor Oscar in 1997 for his role in Jerry Maguire, spoke about his father during an episode of Inside The Actors Studio earlier this year.

He said one of his earliest memories was his father performing at Disneyland.

“He would pull me up on stage with him and make me finish the song because I’d seen him perform it all the time,” Gooding Jr said.

“It was a lot of feeling like ‘I come from royalty’.”

Gooding Sr and his wife Shirley had four children – actors Cuba and Omar, musician Tommy and daughter April.

The couple reportedly separated in 1974 but remarried in 1995.

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