Los Angeles

Soul Singer Cuba Gooding Sr. Found Dead Inside Car

Gooding Sr., the father of Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr., was the lead singer of the soul group The Main Ingredient

Cuba Gooding Sr., who sang the 1972 hit "Everybody Plays the Fool," has died.

Authorities say the 72-year-old singer and father of Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. was found dead in a car Thursday in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles.

The body was discovered around 1:10 p.m. inside a parked silver Jaguar on Ventura Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Surveillance video showed the vehicle Gooding was found in pulling up to the street around 3:30 a.m., according to investigators. Around 10:30 a.m., a witness saw Gooding alive inside the car. Hours later, fire paramedics found his body and pronounced him dead.

Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said the cause of death is under investigation, but drug paraphernalia and alcohol were found in the car, which was parked on a busy street.

The elder Gooding rose to fame for "Everybody Plays the Fool," which he sang with the rhythm-and-blues group The Main Ingredient. The song helped the Gooding family move from the Bronx to Southern California.

"An amazing guy. Always had a big handshake and a hug for you," friend and former deejay Eric "Rico" Reed told NBC4. "Whenever you needed to hear a song, Cuba could bust it out for you, never out of tune, never off-key. Just a bigger-than-life personality."

Cuba Gooding Sr.'s father fled Barbados and went to Cuba — hence the name of his son — before becoming a taxi driver in Manhattan.

An email message to Gooding Jr.'s agent was not immediately returned.

NBC4's Jane Yamamoto contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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