Gooding joined The Main Ingredient in 1971 when the former lead singer Donald McPherson died unexpectedly of leukemia. He had served as a backing vocalist on some of their recordings previously. One of their hit songs was 1972's "Everybody Plays the Fool," which peaked at No. 2 for three weeks.
Police are still investigating the cause of his death, but say there were no immediate indications of homicide at the scene.
The car was seen pulling up to the location around 3:30 a.m. and Gooding was last seen alive around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, officials said.
Someone noticed an unresponsive body in the car and called 911 around 1 p.m. Paramedics responded and tried to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.