Oscar-winning singer and actress Irene Cara, who sang the themes for Flashdance and Fame, has died at 63. Cara’s rep Judith A. Moose took to Twitter on Friday night, writing, “It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara… She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films.” Cara’s cause of death is currently unknown. Cara had several TV and film roles in the 1970s, including playing the title character in 1976’s Sparkle. Her co-star in that film, Mary Alice, also passed away this year.
Singer and Actress Irene Cara: Known for ‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ Themes
According to US Weekly, Irene Cara’s career skyrocketed when she starred as Coco Hernandez in Fame (1980). She had originally been cast as a dancer. But the producers were so impressed with her singing voice that they rewrote the role for her. Cara’s performance in Fame earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She also sang the tracks “Fame” and “Out Here on My Own.” Both songs made the Fame soundtrack go platinum, and they were both nominated for best original songs at the Academy Awards. This was the first time two songs from the same movie were nominated in the category.
A few years later, Irene Cara would make Oscar history again with another song.
Cara co-wrote “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” the theme of the movie Flashdance (1983). The song became a huge hit and earned Cara several awards. She became the first Hispanic-Black woman to win an Oscar outside of the acting category. She also won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, and two AMAs for R&B Female Artist and Best Pop Single of the Year.
Irene Cara, a singer and actress of immense talent, had a vibrant career. But we’ll never forget her for “Fame” and “Flashdance… What a Feeling.” The Nerd Stash sends condolences to her loved ones.