Irene Cara, singer-actress at the Oscars, Golden Globes and two Grammy Awards, who performed and sang the cut title of the hit 1980 film “Fame”, then sang the hit “Flashdance…What a Feeling” from 1983’s “Flashdance” is dead. She was 63 years old.
His publicist, Judith A. Moose, announced the news on social media, writing that a cause of death was “currently unknown”. Moose also confirmed the death to an Associated Press reporter on Saturday. Cara died at her home in Florida. The exact day of his death has not been revealed.
“Irene’s family has requested confidentiality while she processes her grief,” Moose wrote. “She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live on forever through her music and films.”
During her career, Cara had Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Breakdance,” “Out Here on My Own,” “Fame,” and “Flashdance…What a Feeling,” which spent six weeks on the charts. #1 She was the source of some of the most upbeat and high-energy pop anthems of the early ’80s.
Tributes poured in on social media on Saturday, including from Deborah Cox, who called Cara an inspiration, and Holly Robinson Peete, who recalled seeing Cara perform: “The insane combination of talent and beauty made me upset. It hurts my heart so much.
She first rose to prominence among young actors playing high school performing arts students in Alan Parker’s “Fame,” with co-stars Debbie Allen, Paul McCrane and Anne Mear. Cara played Coco Hernandez, a relentless dancer who endures all sorts of hardships, including a chilling nude photo shoot.
“The brightness of our spirits soaring into space depends on our contribution to the earthly brilliance of this world. And I mean being a major contributor!” she says in the film.
Cara sang on the booming title track with the chorus – “Remember my name / I’m gonna live forever / I’m gonna learn to fly / I feel it coming together / People are gonna see me and cry” – which would go on to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Song. She also sang on “Out Here on My Own”, “Hot Lunch Jam”, and “I Sing the Body Electric”.
Three years later, she and the “Flashdance” songwriting team – music by Giorgio Moroder, lyrics by Keith Forsey and Cara – accepted the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Flashdance…What a Feeling.”
The film starred Jennifer Beals as a girl from Steel Town who dances in a bar at night and hopes to attend a prestigious dance conservatory. It included the hit song “Maniac”, featuring Beals’ character jumping, spinning, toe-tapping, and the slow-burning theme song.
“There aren’t enough words to express my love and gratitude,” Cara told the Oscars crowd in her thanks. “And last but not least, a very special gentleman who I guess started it all for me many years ago. To Alan Parker, wherever you are tonight, I thank him.
Born in New York, Cara began her career on Broadway, with small roles in short-lived shows, although a musical titled “The Me Nobody Knows” ran over 300 performances. She toured in the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” as Mary Magdalene in the mid-1990s and a tour of the musical “Flashdance” toured from 2012 to 2014 with her songs.
She also created the all-female group Irene Cara Presents Hot Caramel and released a double CD with the single “How Can I Make You Luv Me”. His movie credits include “Sparkle” and “DC Cab.”
Associated Press reporters Hillel Italy and Freida Frisaro contributed to this report.
Los Angeles Times