Cuba Gooding Jr.'s Chicago gig


Cuba Gooding Jr. is to star on London's West End in 'Chicago'.

The 50-year-old actor - who is the son of the late Motown star Cuban Gooding Sr. - has been having vocal coach sessions to learn how to manage his already "strong" voice for the part of lawyer Billy Flynn at the Phoenix Theatre.

The 'Jerry Maguire' star couldn't believe it when he landed the part and is taking it very seriously by getting Eric Vetro, who has trained the vocals of the likes of Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello and Charlie Puth, to help him.

He told the Daily Mail newspaper: "I literally lost my mind . . . and then I said 'Yes!' This is the West End. Shakespeare and all that. I have had this interesting love affair with London and England, though I don't know how London feels about me.

"So, I'm getting ready. I have a vocal coach, Eric Vetro. I've always had a strong voice but no control, so Eric has taught me how to breathe properly. My voice goes a bit hoarse, but he and I know the work we have to accomplish."

Cuba kickstarted his career as a breakdancer performing with singer Motown legend Lionel Richie at the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and grew up on the genre, with his father the lead singer in The Main Ingredient and his mother Shirley Sullivan, The Sweethearts.

He said: "We had the Motown stable in and out of the household, so I was surrounded by singers and dancers and razzle dazzle. It was the world of showbusiness, in our house."

Meanwhile, the Academy Award-winning star says that with the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal, it makes him question how he's acted in the past.

He said: "There's a certain apprehension because you wonder whether a friend of yours will become implicated in some way. And it makes you think about your own behaviour. What was celebrated yesterday is not tolerated today."

Cuba's run in 'Chicago' kicks off on March 26.