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Irene Cara, ‘Flashdance’ Singer, Dies at 63

The singer-actress was also known for her starring role in ‘Fame,’ where she performed the title track.


Tragic news has befallen the world of music and entertainment with the passing of the iconic American singer-actress Irene Cara at the age of just 63. Cara, who passed early on Saturday, November 26 was best known for lending her voice to the iconic soundtracks of both Flashdance and Fame – the latter of which she also played a starring role in. The news was conveyed via Cara’s publicist.


In a statement posted to social media, Cara’s publicist wrote: “It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara. 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.” Cara’s publicist accompanied the statement with a personal touch on Twitter writing; “This is the absolute worst part of being a publicist. I can’t believe I’ve had to write this, let alone release the news. Please share your thoughts and memories of Irene. I’ll be reading each and every one of them and know she’ll be smiling from Heaven. She adored her fans.”

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Cara, the youngest of five children was born in the Bronx, New York City in 1959 and began her career by appearing on Spanish-language television. Daughter to a Puerto Rican father and Cuban-American mother, Cara went on to appear in a number of Broadway and off-Broadway musicals before getting her big-break in the 1980 hit movie Fame. Cara performed the film’s title track and also starred as Coco Hernandez, receiving a Best Actress nomination for her performance at the 1981 Golden Globes. Two years later, Cara won an Oscar for Best Original Song at the 1983 Academy Awards for lending her vocal talent to the soundtrack of Flashdance – co-writing and singing “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” the song also won her a Grammy Award. Cara also received further accolades in her career, among them the award for Best Actress in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Drama Special at the 1982 NAACP Image Awards for her performance as Sissy Lovejoy in the 1982 TV Movie Sister, Sister.

Irene Cara in Fame
Image via MGM

Related: A ‘Flashdance’ TV Series Reboot Is Coming to Paramount+. Guys, Remember ‘Flashdance’?

An iconic actress, whose vocal and on-screen performances helped define a generation of iconic feel-good cinema hits, Cara will surely be missed by those close to her and her fans across the world. Cara now lives on in the memory of those who admired her and her wonderful body of work. The full statement from her publicist regarding her publicist can be read below and for those wanting to witness Cara’s special talent, sample this clip of her performing the iconic track “Flashdance… What a Feeling” at the 1983 MDA Telethon:

“It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara. 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. Irene’s family has requested privacy as they process their grief. She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films. Funeral services are pending and a memorial for her fans will be planned at a future date.”




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