Cuba Gooding Sr., a singer and actor and the father of Cuba Gooding Jr., has passed away at age 72, according to TMZ.
The outlet reports that Gooding Sr. was found dead in his car in the San Fernando Valley. Police reportedly suspect he died from an overdose.
Read on to learn more.
1. He Was the Lead Singer of the 70’s Soul Group ‘The Main Ingredient’
The band was formed in Harlem in 1964, and at first went by the name The Poets, composed of Donald McPherson, Luther Simmons Jr. and Tony Silvester. After recording their first songs, the group was renamed to The Insiders, and then, in 1968, finally changed their name to The Main Ingredient.
After teaming up with producer Bert DeCoteaux, the band reached the R&B Top 30 with the song, “You’ve Been My Inspiration.” In 1971, McPherson passed away suddenly from leukemia, and Cuba Gooding came on as the group’s new lead singer.
2. He Is Survived by His Wife and Four Children
Gooding Sr. had four children with his wife, Shirley Sullivan. Two of those children are actors Cuba and Omar.
Cuba Sr. and Shirley married in 1966. They split briefly in 1974, but remarried again in 1995.
Cuba Gooding Jr. received an Oscar in 1997 for his work in the film Jerry Maguire. His extensive list of notable films includes movies like The Tuskegee Airmen (1995), Pearl Harbor (2001), Red Tails (2012), Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013), Selma (2014), and the football drama Radio (2003).
Omar, Cuba Jr.’s brother, better known by his stage name, “Big O”, is a rapper, actor, voice artist, and comedian. He’s best known for his appearances on TV shows like Wild & Crazy Kids, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, Smart Guy, Baby Boy, Barbershop, and Grey’s Anatomy.
3. He Was Signed as a Solo Artist to Motown Records
In 1977, Gooding left the band to pursue a solo career with Motown Records. Before reuniting with the group in 1979, he came out with two hits: “Mind Pleaser” and “Happiness Is Just Around the Bend”, which reached No. 91 and No. 43, respectively.
Then, in 1993, Gooding Sr. decided to once again give a solo career a shot. He was not part of his band’s 1999 reunion.
4. He Was Recently Named the Official Ambassador of Goodwill to Rosarito Beach
Most recently, the actor and singer was named the official Ambassador of Goodwill to Rosarito Beach in Baja, California Mexico. He built an entertainment complex in Baja called the Cuba Gooding Pyramid Amphitheater, which hosts prominent artists from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Check out the venue’s website here.
5. Police Reportedly Suspect He Died From an Overdose
According to TMZ, police found empty booze containers in the car where Cuba Sr. was found, and suspect he died from an overdose.
Police reportedly informed the outlet that Cuba Sr. was “slumped over in his silver Jaguar, parked on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills, CA.” When the fire department attempted to resuscitate him, they were unsuccessful.