Irene Cara, Oscar And Grammy-Winning Singer-Actress Of ‘Fame’ And ‘Flashdance,’ Dies At 63

Cara enjoyed success on Broadway, television, and in films, in addition to her recording work.

Published on

Irene Cara - Photo: Barry King/WireImage
Irene Cara - Photo: Barry King/WireImage

Irene Cara, the New York singer and actress who rose to fame in the role of Coco Hernandez in the film Fame and sang its Oscar-winning title song as the first in a run of 1980s hits, has died at the age of 63. Cara also won both an Oscar and a Grammy for the No.1 smash “Flashdance…What A Feeling,” which she co-wrote for the 1983 hit movie Flashdance.

The news was confirmed by her publicist, Judith A. Moose, who said that she passed away in Miami, but that cause of death was unknown. She described her as a “beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films.”

Cara was born on March 18, 1959, the youngest of five children to a Puerto Rican father and Cuban-American mother. She performed on TV as a child, initially on Spanish language programs, progressing to both on and off Broadway productions and the daytime 1970s soap Love of My Life.

Fame from ‘Fame’

It was Alan Parker’s movie Fame that lived up to its name for Cara, bringing her national and international success with her prominent role and via the title song, written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford. It reached No.4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the bestsellers in the UK, Ireland, Holland, and elsewhere, also hitting No.1 on Billboard’s dance charts. Cara then had a second US Top 10 with a ballad from the soundtrack, “Out Here On My Own,” written by Gore and his famous singing sister Lesley. It received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, to which it was beaten by “Fame” itself.

She continued to pursue her twin careers as singer and actor, releasing her debut album Anyone Can See in 1982 and, the following year, landing even more spectacular success by performing “Flashdance…What A Feeling,” which she wrote with Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey. The song was a US and international No.1 and won a slew of awards, including an Oscar for Best Song, a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and American Music Awards for Best R&B Female Artist and Best Pop Single of the Year.

Prominent film roles followed in City Heat, starring Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds, and Certain Fury, in which she starred with Tatum O’Neal. There were other stage and TV roles, and although Cara’s major label recording career ended after 1987’s Carasmatic, she released an album with her band Hot Caramel in 2011.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

uDiscover Music - Back To Top
uDiscover Music - Back To Top