NEW YORK (AP) — 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,” “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, including “Out Here On My Own” and “Why Me?”
Tributes poured in on Saturday on social media, 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 was overwhelming to me. This hurts my heart so much.”
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 Meara. 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.”
FILE – Conductor Mitch Miller performs for photographers with singers Rosemary Clooney, left, and Irene Cara, center, during a rehearsal, on Jan. 6, 1981, in New York for his NBC-TV special called “The Mitch Miller Show: A Sing Along Sampler.” Oscar, Golden Globe and two-time Grammy winning singer-actress 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 at age 63. Her publicist Judith A. Moose confirmed the death on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)