Cuba Gooding Sr., Soul Singer and Cuba Gooding Jr.'s Dad, Dies at 72

Cuba Gooding Sr Cuba Gooding Jr American Gangster Premiere - Getty - H 2017
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He was the lead singer for The Main Ingredient, known for the hit "Everybody Plays the Fool," for nearly 20 years.

Cuba Gooding, Sr., lead singer for the 1970s soul group The Main Ingredient and father to Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., has reportedly died. He was 72.

Gooding was found dead in his car Thursday in Woodland Hills, Calif., TMZ and ABC are reporting. 

Gooding joined The Main Ingredient in 1971 when former lead singer Donald McPherson died unexpectedly of leukemia. He had served as a backing vocalist on some of their recordings. While he was with the RCA-signed band, the act scored five top 10 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, including their highest-charting effort, 1972's "Everybody Plays the Fool," which peaked at No. 2 for three weeks. The track also was their biggest hit on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, climbing to No. 3.

The Gooding-led act also notched top 10s on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart with "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely," "Happiness Is Just Around the Bend" and "Rolling Down a Mountainside."

In 1977, Gooding left the band to pursue a solo career on Motown in 1977, releasing two albums. In 1979, he reunited with his Main Ingredient bandmates, and they continued to work together through the 1980s. Gooding resumed his solo career in 1993 and did not participate in a 1999 reunion of his old band. He also had a minor acting career.

Gooding himself as a solo artist notched two R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart hits of his own: 1978's "Mind Pleaser" and 1983's "Happiness Is Just Around the Bend," which reached Nos. 91 and 43 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, respectively. More than two decades later, Gooding returned to Billboard's charts with the top 10-charting Adult Contemporary airplay chart hit "This Christmas" (Richard Kincaid featuring Cuba Gooding Sr.). It climbed to No. 9 in December 2012.

His son most recently played O.J. Simpson on the FX series American Crime Story, and won an Oscar in 1997 for best supporting actor for his work in Jerry Maguire.

Gooding had three other children with his wife Shirley: Omar, April and Tommy, a musician.  

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