Entertainment

Irene Cara, a ‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer, died at the age of 63

Irene Cara, a 'Fame' and 'Flashdance' singer, died at the age of 63

THE Oscar-winning star of Fame and the chart-topping singer of “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” IRENE CARA, has died at the age of 63.

Cara died Friday at her Florida home, according to her publicist Judith A. Moore, who announced her death on Twitter. Her cause of death is “currently unclear” and will be revealed “as soon as information becomes available.”

“It is with great regret that I announce the death of Irene Cara on behalf of her family.” “The Academy Award-winning actress, singer, composer, and producer died in her Florida home,” Moore wrote on Twitter. “She was a wonderfully brilliant person whose music and pictures will live on forever.”

The Bronx native Cara began her career as a young performer on series like as The Electric Factory before going on to play in Broadway musicals such as Via Galactica, The Wiz, and the Supremes-inspired Sparkle, the latter of which was adapted for the big picture in 1976 with Cara in the main role.

Cara’s breakthrough came with the 1980 smash film Fame, in which she played Coco Hernandez, a role reworked expressly for her. Cara not only played a gifted student in a New York City performing arts high school in that film, but she also performed the soundtrack’s title tune “Fame” and “Out Here on My Own,” both of which were nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. Cara sang both songs during the Oscars ceremony, as Fame became the first film to get two nominations in that category. “Fame” eventually won the Academy Award.

Irene Cara “Fame”

The popularity of Fame spilled over into the music business, as Cara was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards despite never releasing her own album. Anyone Can See, Cara’s debut album, was released in 1982.

Cara’s biggest success the next year was “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” the theme from the classic 1983 picture Flashdance. The song, co-written by Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey, spent six weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983, propelling the soundtrack to Number One as well. The track also garnered Cara her second Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Cara reteamed with Moroder and Forsey for her 1983 album What a Feelin’, which included her Flashdance hit as well as the singles “Breakdance,” “Why Me,” and “The Dream (Hold On to Your Dream),” the latter of which was included on the soundtrack for DC Cab, a film in which Cara played herself in a minor role.

Despite her chart-topping success, Cara’s music career was derailed by a decade-long legal struggle with her company Network Records, which she sued after alleging they withheld earnings from her successful tracks.

“I sued my label after the album.” First and foremost, my label had disintegrated on its own…it had lost distribution. “And I was left with a label president who continued to [not pay me] and utilize me for distribution for his tiny small label,” Cara said to Songwriter Universe in 2018. “So I sued him, which took eight years and ruined me my career as a recording artist since no other company would sign me.” RSO was threatening the other brands with letters. And the one label that did sign me promised to support me throughout the case. But once I finished my record (Carasmatic, released in 1987), they shelved it and didn’t promote it.” In 1993, a jury ruled with Cara, giving her the earnings from her successes.

Cara, on the other hand, continued to perform on movie and stage during the next decade, appearing in films such as City Heat with Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds, Certain Fury, and Caged in Paradiso, as well as a 1993 production of Jesus Christ Superstar. She also sang backing for musicians such as Lou Reed, Oleta Adams, and Evelyn “Champagne” King.

Cara went into “semi-retirement” in the 2000s, appearing on reality singing competitions and making rare live performances. “I have a lovely property by the ocean, and life is terrific,” she told Songwriter Universe. “These days, I live off royalties, work when I choose, and consider myself semi-retired.” I don’t have to work… I make more money while I’m not working than when I am.”

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