'Fame' and 'Flashdance' singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63

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.

News 12 Staff

Nov 26, 2022, 6:10 PM

Updated 600 days ago

Share:

Oscar, Golden Globe and two-time Grammy winning singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance ... What a Feeling” from 1983's “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63.
Her 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 her death was not disclosed.
“Irene’s family has requested privacy as they process their grief,” Moose wrote. “She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live 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 most joyful, high-energy pop anthems of the early ’80s.
She first came to prominence among the young actors playing performing arts high schoolers in Alan Parker's “Fame,” with co-stars Debbie Allen, Paul McCrane and Anne Mear. Cara played Coco Hernandez, a striving dancer who endures all manner of deprivations, including a creepy nude photo shoot.
“How bright our spirits go shooting out into space, depends on how much we contributed to the earthly brilliance of this world. And I mean to be a major contributor!” she says in the movie.
Cara sang on the soaring title song with the chorus - “Remember my name/I’m gonna live forever/I’m gonna learn how to fly/I feel it coming together/People will see me and cry” - which would go on to be nominated for an Academy Award 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 songwriting team of “Flashdance” - music by Giorgio Moroder, lyrics by Keith Forsey and Cara - was accepting the Oscar for best original song for “Flashdance ... What a Feeling.”
The movie starred Jennifer Beals as a steel-town girl who dances in a bar at night and hopes to attend a prestigious dance conservatory. It included the hit song “Maniac,” featuring Beals’ character leaping, spinning, stomping her feet and the slow-burning theme song.
“There aren’t enough words to express my love and my gratitude,” Cara told the Oscar crowd in her thanks. “And last but not least, a very special gentlemen who I guess started it all for me many years ago. To Alan Parker, wherever you may be tonight, I thank him.”
The New York-born Cara began her career on Broadway, with small parts 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" toured 2012-14 with her songs.
She also created the all-female band Irene Cara Presents Hot Caramel and put out a double CD with the single “How Can I Make You Luv Me.” Her movie credits include ”Sparkle" and “D.C. Cab.”


More from News 12
1:54
Mayor Adams, state officials address global Microsoft outages

Mayor Adams, state officials address global Microsoft outages

1:38
Subways and buses across NYC still running amid worldwide outage

Subways and buses across NYC still running amid worldwide outage

2:13
Sunny, warm and humid conditions heading into the weekend for Brooklyn

Sunny, warm and humid conditions heading into the weekend for Brooklyn

NY State Assemblymember Kenny Burgos announces resignation

NY State Assemblymember Kenny Burgos announces resignation

1:35
Technology outage causes widespread flight disruptions at NYC airports

Technology outage causes widespread flight disruptions at NYC airports

2:11
New NY state law makes deed theft criminal

New NY state law makes deed theft criminal

0:25
NYPD: Man wanted for inappropriately touching 12-year-old girl in Bushwick

NYPD: Man wanted for inappropriately touching 12-year-old girl in Bushwick

5:00
Tech expert weighs in on Microsoft outage impacts across the globe

Tech expert weighs in on Microsoft outage impacts across the globe

3:31
Widespread technology outage disrupts flights, banks, media outlets and companies around the world

Widespread technology outage disrupts flights, banks, media outlets and companies around the world

1:52
Googling for Gold: Research finds New York searches for gold - a lot

Googling for Gold: Research finds New York searches for gold - a lot

1:40
NYPD, NYC Parks work together to combat illegal vending on Coney Island Boardwalk

NYPD, NYC Parks work together to combat illegal vending on Coney Island Boardwalk

1:40
New Bed-Stuy center brings healing to those impacted by violent crime

New Bed-Stuy center brings healing to those impacted by violent crime

2:09
Councilmember Zhuang speaks out following accusations of biting a police officer

Councilmember Zhuang speaks out following accusations of biting a police officer

13:51
'I’m not supposed to be here tonight.' Donald Trump recounts assassination attempt

'I’m not supposed to be here tonight.' Donald Trump recounts assassination attempt

1:22
National Weather Service says high rip current risk is in effect for NYC beaches

National Weather Service says high rip current risk is in effect for NYC beaches

2:00
Funeral service held for fallen NYPD recruit Edgar Ordonez

Funeral service held for fallen NYPD recruit Edgar Ordonez

0:29
Brooklyn DA: Man sentenced to 20 years for point-blank shots fired

Brooklyn DA: Man sentenced to 20 years for point-blank shots fired

1:33
NYPD data: Subway crime trending downwards citywide, but up in Brooklyn South

NYPD data: Subway crime trending downwards citywide, but up in Brooklyn South

1:49
Plans for new Tao Nightclub in Greenpoint met with community backlash

Plans for new Tao Nightclub in Greenpoint met with community backlash

0:37
Coney Island residents to vote on how new building developments will be funded, maintained

Coney Island residents to vote on how new building developments will be funded, maintained