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Cuba Gooding Sr. (1944 – 2017)

by Legacy Staff

Cuba Gooding Sr., the lead singer of the 1970s soul group the Main Ingredient that had the hit song “Everybody Plays the Fool,” died Thursday, April 20, 2017, according to multiple news sources. He was 72.

Gooding, the father of the Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., was found dead in his Jaguar automobile in Woodland Hills, California, according to police. There were no signs of foul play, officials said.

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Cuba Gooding Sr. was born April 27, 1944, in Harlem, New York.

The Main Ingredient—the group borrowed the name from the slogan on a bottle of Coca-Cola—was formed under a different name in Harlem in 1964. Gooding, a backup singer, didn’t formally join the trio until the 1971 death of the group’s original lead singer, Don McPherson.

With Gooding aboard, the group enjoyed immediate success thanks to the million-selling smash hit “Everybody Plays the Fool,” which reached No. 2 on the R&B chart, and No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, in late 1972. Their version was the first to reach the Top 40 in the U.S. It was the Main Ingredient’s highest charting single. The group also had another top-10 single, the million-selling “Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely.”

Gooding is survived by his wife, the singer Shirley Gooding (born Sullivan), and their four children: actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Omar Gooding, April Gooding, and musician Tommy Gooding.

Gooding Sr., who later became an actor himself in minor roles, separated from his wife in 1974. In 1995, however, the Goodings remarried, some 21 years later.

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