Irene Cara, the Oscar, Golden Globe and two Grammy Award-winning singer and actress, who starred in and sang the title track of the 1980 hit film “Fame” and later sang the definitive hit of the 1983 “Flashdance” era “Flashdance… What a Feeling” is dead.
His publicist, Judith A. Moose, announced the news on social media, writing that the 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 was not revealed.
Irene Cara, the singer of Fame and Flashdance, has died. (twitter)
“Irene’s family has asked for privacy while they process their grief,” Moose wrote.
“He was a very gifted soul whose legacy will live on forever through his 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 in number 1. 1.
He was behind some of the most upbeat, high-energy pop anthems of the early 80s.
Tributes poured in on social media on Saturday, including from Deborah Cox, who said Cara was an inspiration, and Holly Robinson Peete, who recalled watching Cara perform: “The crazy combination of talent and beauty was overwhelming for me. This really hurts my heart.”
Irene Cara was a singer and actress who won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and two Grammys. (Getty)
She first came to prominence among young actors playing high school performing arts students in Alan Parker’s “Fame,” co-starring Debbie Allen, Paul McCrane and Anne Meara. Cara played Coco Hernandez, a struggling dancer who endures all sorts of deprivations, including a harrowing nude photo shoot.
“How brightly our spirits shoot off into space depends on how much we have contributed to the earthly brilliance of this world. And I want to be a major contributor!” she says in the film.
Cara sang on the title track with the chorus: “Remember my name / I’ll live forever / I’ll learn to fly / I feel it coming together / People will see me and cry” – which would go on to be nominated for an Oscar for the best original song He also sang on “Out Here on My Own”, “Hot Lunch Jam” and “I Sing the Body Electric”.
Irene Cara and the cast of Fame in 1983. (Fairfax Media/MGM Television)
Allen took to Twitter on Saturday to mourn, posting photos of them together and saying Cara was “a beautiful and gifted genius. Her talent and music will live on forever! Remember her name forever!”
Three years later, she and the “Flashdance” writing team – 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 steel city girl who dances in a bar at night and hopes to attend a prestigious dance conservatory. It included the hit song “Maniac,” with Beals’ character jumping, spinning, stomping his feet, and the slow-burn theme song.
“There are not enough words to express my love and gratitude,” Cara told the Oscar crowd in appreciation.
“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 parts in short-lived shows, though a musical called “The Me Nobody Knows” ran for more than 300 performances. She toured the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” as Mary Magdalene in the mid-1990s and a tour of the musical “Flashdance” toured 2012-14 with her songs.
She also created the all-female band Irene Cara Presents Hot Caramel and released a double CD with the single “How Can I Make You Luv Me”. His film credits include “Sparkle” and “DC Cab.”