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Irene Cara, ‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer and actress, dies at 63

 


NEW YORK Oscar, Golden Globe and two-time Grammy-winning singer-actress Irene Cara, who performed and sang the cut track from the hit 1980 film Fame, then sang the Flashdance hit What a Feeling from the years 1983, died . She was 63 years old.

His publicist, Judith A. Moose, broke 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.

The Irenes family have requested confidentiality while they process their 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 three 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 at No. 1. She was behind some of the happiest, energetic 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 Parkers 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 brilliance of our minds in space depends on our contribution to the earthly brilliance of this world. And I mean being a major contributor! she says in the movie.

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’s coming together / People are gonna see me and cry what was to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song. She has also sung on Out Here on My Own, Hot Lunch Jam and I Sing the Body Electric.

Three years later, she and the songwriting team of Flashdance music by Giorgio Moroder, lyrics by Keith Forsey and Cara accepted the Oscar 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 called 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 ran 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. Her film credits include Sparkle and DC Cab.

Associated Press reporters Hillel Italy and Freida Frisaro contributed to this report.


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