Gooding was found dead in his car, a silver Jaguar, in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon, according to ABC7. The news outlet wrote that the fire department responded to the scene at around 1:00 p.m. PT and attempted CPR, but could not resuscitate him.
Sadly his death is being suspected as a drug overdose, reports TMZ, but police are still investigating.
Born in 1944, Gooding was best known as the lead singer of the soul group The Main Ingredient in the ’70s. Among the group’s hits were the songs “Everybody Plays the Fool” and “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely.”
In a 2015 interview with Afro.com, Gooding reflected on his career with the group, whose founding members also included Tony “Panama” Sylvester, Luther Simmons and Donald McPherson.
“We were not the typical black soul group from the early 1970s. We recorded on the prestigious RCA-Victor label (now SONY) with the likes of Harry Belafonte and Charley Pride,” he said. “But remember, we were young and still wanted to be cool and soulful like our counterparts, The O’Jays and The Delfonics and people like that.”
Gooding and his wife, Shirley, had four children, including Cuba Gooding Jr., who is known for his roles in “Boyz n the Hood,” “Jerry Maguire,” “Pearl Harbor” and “The People vs. O.J.: American Crime Story.” Their other son, Omar, is also an actor.
Gooding Sr. and Shirley split up in 1974, but remarried in 1995.