Fame Theme Song Singer Irene Cara Dead at 63

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She also appeared in four Broadway musicals—Maggie Flynn, The Me Nobody Knows, Via Galactica and Got Tu Go Disco.

But it was the 1980 musical drama film Fame that launched her to international, well, fame. The film centered around a performing arts high school, Cara played student Coco Hernandez and performed four songs, including the hit single “Fame,” for the movie soundtrack.

The New York native went on to co-write and perform the lead single “Flashdance… What a Feeling” for the soundtrack to the 1983 romantic drama dance film Flashdance, starring Jennifer Beals as a dancer who aspires to become a professional ballerina. The song earned Cara a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, and an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song.

“Thank you brilliant Irene for your open heart and your fearless triple threat talent,” Beals wrote on Instagram after news of the singer’s death was made public. “It took a beautiful dreamer to write and perform the soundtracks for those who dare to dream. #RIPirenecara.”

In 1984, Cara co-starred with Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds in the movie City Heat. Later, in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Cara did voiceover work for children’s animated films, such as the movie Happily Ever After. Her last onscreen role as in an episode of the TV series Hearts Are Wild in 1992.

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