Black Celebrities

Hidden Facts Surrounding Cuba Gooding’s Death

BY: DANIEL PETERSON

Cuba Gooding, Sr., was the Main Ingredient’s lead singer in the soul group and dad of actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. he died at aging 72-years-old.

Although the cause of death is still unknown, authorities reported Gooding appeared to have perished from a drug overdose or natural causes.

Drug paraphernalia and Alcohol bottles were found in the singer’s car.

Gooding’s sunrise was on April 27th, 1944 in New York. Later, he grew up with ‘Main Ingredient’ members—Luther Simmons, Jr, Tony Sylvester, and McPherson. They formed the group and the Poets—which then became the ‘Insiders’ before renaming it as the ‘Main Ingredient.’

Gooding worked as the group’s backing singer, but when McPherson became too ill to tour, Gooding sang the lead during live concerts. He officially assumed the lead role in 1971—following the death of Donald McPherson, former lead singer.

The group garnered many gold singles, including their highest-charting hit, ‘Rolling Down a Mountainside,’ ‘Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely, 1974’ and ‘Happiness is Just Around the Bend.’ The group’s great work was felt in ‘Everybody Plays the Fool, 1972’—It maintained the Number Two spot for three weeks on the R&B chart and hit Number Three on the ‘all-genre Hot 100 chart.’

Later In 1977, Gooding signed with Motown Records as a solo artist, where he dropped two albums. His debut, ‘The 1st Album’—housed his famous single “Mind Pleaser.” he re-teamed with the Main Ingredient In 1979, though, and worked with them in the ‘80s.

Gooding recorded a remake of the ‘Happiness is Just Around the Bend,’ In 1983, which became a dance hit. In 2012, Gooding also scored a hit with ‘This Christmas.’

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

The couple separated in 1974 but then remarried in 1995.

Gooding Jr. his son, who won the 1997’s best-supporting-actor Oscar for his role in ‘Jerry Maguire, ’spoke about his dad during an episode of ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ earlier this year.

“I recall, one of my earliest memories … [he] would perform at Disneyland, and afterward, they would set it free to the general public, and all the kids of the performers would go on the stage as many times as they would want,” Cuba said. “He would pull me up to the stage with him and then make me finish the song since I had seen him perform all the time. It’s much of feeling like: ’I come from royalty.’”

So sad, as Gooding Sr. was just a week away to turn 73.

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