Shirley Gooding

Shirley Gooding - Updated Feb 2023

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Updated On December 18, 2022

New York, United States
Birth Sign

Shirley Gooding is a retired American singer and celebrity wife. Moreover, Shirley Gooding is known as the wife of Cuba Gooding Sr., a late American musician. And her son, Cuba Gooding Jr., is also a well-known American actor.

Early Life

Shirley Gooding was born on the 2nd of January, 1968, in New York, the United States of America. According to her birth date, she is 54 years old and holds American nationality.

Moreover, she has a birth sign of Capricorn and belongs to the African-American ethnicity. She hasn’t shared anything about her parents, siblings, and early years at the moment. However, we might presume that she might have been well-raised as a child by her parents.


Talking about her academic career, Shirley has not yet shared her educational qualification in public. It seems that this Americana celebrity wife might have completed her graduation from a well-known university in America.

Professional Career

Talking about her professional career, Shirley Gooding has not yet shared her profession or job in public at the moment. However, she came to the limelight as the wife of an American legendary singer, Cuba Gooding, and her son Cuba Gooding Jr., is also a well-known American actor.

Cuba Gooding Sr. 

As a backup vocalist, Cuba Gooding Sr joined The Main Ingredient. He took over as lead singer after Donald McPherson died of leukemia in 1971. Stevie Wonder co-wrote many songs on the 1973 album Afrodisiac.

Cuba left The Main Ingredient in either 1977 or 1978. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he had a brief solo career on Motown Records, releasing two albums, the first of which was titled The 1st Cuba Gooding Album.

Shirley Gooding

Caption: Cuba Gooding Sr during his stage performance (Source: Time)

His biggest worldwide hit was Brian Auger’s “Happiness Is Just Around the Bend” in 1983, which has since been sampled by various R&B musicians and charted again in 1991 as a remix by UK Hardcore Rave duo Altern-8.

He returned to The Main Ingredient in 1980 and recorded two additional albums for RCA Victor. In 1991, samples from the song were notably included in Bizarre Inc’s single “Playing With Knives.”

In September 2007, He released a single titled “Politics.” He was also working on a film entitled Everybody Plays the Fool: The Cuba Gooding Story. Three generations of the Gooding family are featured in the film: Dudley “Cuba” Gooding, Cuba Gooding Sr., Cuba Gooding Jr., and Omar Gooding.

The Boat Trip DVD trivia track stated that he will feature in the 2003 romantic comedy The Fighting Temptations, starring his son Cuba Gooding Jr., although he does not appear in the film.

He performed the Charles Wallert composition “Meant To Be In Love” on the Beach Music Super Collaboration album. This resulted in the duo’s “Never Give Up” (Bluewater Recordings) project, which debuted at the 2009 presidential inauguration.

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba Gooding Jr. began his professional acting career with three years of guest appearances on shows such as “Hill Street Blues” (1981), “Amen” (1988), and “MacGyver” (1988, 1989, 1990). In 1991, he made his debut as Tre Styles in John Singleton’s crime drama “Boyz n the Hood.” Following that, he appeared in films such as “A Few Good Men” (1992), “Judgment Night” (1993), “Lightning Jack” (1994), and “Outbreak” (1995). He was cast as a charismatic football player in Cameron Crowe’s hit movie “Jerry Maguire,” alongside Tom Cruise, in 1996.

Shirley Gooding

Caption: Cuba Gooding Jr posing for a photo with his Oscar award (Source:

His breakthrough roles in the films “As Good as It Gets” (1997), “What Dreams May Come” (1998), and “Men of Honor” (2000). Moreover, his roles in films such as “Pearl Harbor,” “Rat Race,” “The Fighting Temptations,” “Radio,” “Snow Dogs,” “American Gangster,” “Lies & Illusions,” and “The Hit List” garnered him even more recognition.

In 2009, he was praised for his performance as Ben Carson in the biographical film “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.” He then appeared in “Red Tails,” a 2012 World War II film, and “Selma,”(2014) a historical drama.

He appeared in a Fox TV pilot in 2012. In 2013, he  played one of the most important roles in the film “The Butler.” Soon after, he appeared in television dramas and series like “Big Time in Hollywood, FL” and “Firelight.”

In 2016, he appeared in the popular anthology series “American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson.” “Bayou Caviar,” his directorial debut, was released on October 5, 2018.


As of now, this American celebrity wife has not yet earned any awards or recognition. But her son a renowned celebrity has earned some of them in his career. In 2010 and 2013, he earned two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.

Likewise, in 1997, he earned Screen Actors Guild Award, Critics’ Choice Movie Award, Satellite Award, and Academy Award. Moreover, he earned the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in Motion Picture. Likewise, he earned the Camie Award in 2005.

Net Worth

As of now, Shirley Gooding has not yet shared her income, salary, and net worth. However, her late husband as a singer had a net worth of $42 million at the time of his death. Likewise, her son Cuba Gooding Jr as an actor has a net worth of $15 million as of 2022.

Relationship Status

Shirley Gooding was married twice to Cuba Gooding Sr. The two met while appearing on Jackie Wilson’s show ‘Mr. ‘Excitement’ was released in 1964. Their relationship flourished, and the two soul singers married in 1966. Unfortunately,  they divorced in 1974.

The pair rediscovered their love after an eight-year break and married in 1974. Until Cuba’s death, the couple continued to enjoy each other’s companionship without any divorce complications. Shirley’s husband died on April 20, 2017, in Woodland Hills, California.

Shirley Gooding

Caption: Shirley Gooding with her family (Source: EURweb)

The body of the singer was discovered in his car. The cause of his death was reported as natural causes. The couple has four children: Cuba Gooding Jr., Omar Gooding, April Gooding, and Tommy Gooding.

Shirley Gooding – Body Measurements 2022

Shirley stands 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs around 60 kg. Moreover, she has dark black eyes with black hair color and there are not many details regarding her other body measurements.

Shirley Gooding – Social Media 2022

This woman is not active on any kind of social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.