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Irene Cara, Flashdance Singer and Fame Star, Dies at 63

She won an Academy Award and Grammy for “Flashdance… What a Feeling" in 1984
Irene Cara
(Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images)

Irene Cara, the artist who performed the award-winning theme song in Flashdance and actress in Fame, died at her home in Florida at the age of 63. In addition to writing the theme song to Fame, Cara appeared in the film as Coco Hernandez, which was written about her. She performed two songs in the film, the title track and “Out Here on My Own,” which were both nominated in the Best Original Song category at the Academy Awards. She was also nominated in the Best Actress category at the 1981 Golden Globe Awards for the role.

Her biggest hit, which was co-written with Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey, was “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” the theme from Flashdance. In 1983, “Flashdance… What a Feeling” spent six weeks in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The following year, Cara won an Academy Award and Grammy for the song.

Cara’s publicist, Judith A. Moose, confirmed the news in a statement shared on the artist’s social media accounts. The cause of death was not released.

“It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara,” Moose wrote. “The Academy Award winning actress, singer, songwriter and producer passed away in her Florida home. Her cause of death is currently unknown and will be released when information is available…. She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films.”


Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.