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‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer and actress Irene Cara dies at 63 – Chicago Tribune

Oscar, Golden Globe and two-time Grammy winner singer and actress Irene Cara, who starred in and sang the title track from the 1980 film hit “Glory” and then performed the era hit “Flashdance … What a Feeling” from 1983’s “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63.

Her publicist, Judith A. Muse, announced the news on social media, writing that the cause of death was “unknown at this time.” Moose also confirmed the death to an Associated Press reporter on Saturday. Kara died at her home in Florida. The exact day of her death is not known.

“Irene’s family has asked for privacy as they process their grief,” Moose wrote. “She was a wonderfully gifted soul whose legacy will live on forever through her music and films.”

During her career, Kara had three top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Breakdance,” “Out Here On My Own,” “Fame,” and “Flashdance … What A Feeling,” which spent six weeks on the number. 1. She was the author of some of the most joyful, energetic pop anthems of the early 80s.

Tributes poured in on social media on Saturday, including from Deborah Cox, who called Cara an inspiration, and Holly Robinson Peet, who recalled seeing Cara perform: “The crazy combination of talent and beauty was overwhelming to me. It hurts my heart very much.”

She first came to prominence among young actors playing high school students in theater arts in Alan Parker’s Glory alongside Debbie Allen, Paul McCrane and Ann Mir. Cara played Coco Hernandez, an aspiring dancer who endures all sorts of hardships, including a gruesome nude photo shoot.

“How bright our spirit will fly into space depends on how much we have contributed to the earthly splendor of this world. And I want to be the main participant!” – she says in the film.

Kara sang the title song with the chorus — “Remember my name / I’ll live forever / I’ll learn to fly / I feel it coming / People will see me and cry” — which went 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”.

On Saturday, Allen took to Twitter to mourn, posting photos of them together and calling Cara a “talented and beautiful genius.” Her talent and her music will live forever! Remember her name forever!”

Three years later, she and the “Flashdance” songwriting team — music by George Moroder, lyrics by Keith Forsey and Carr — accepted the Oscar for best original song for “Flashdance … What a Feeling.”

The film stars Jennifer Beals as a city girl who dances in a nightclub and hopes to enter a prestigious dance conservatory. It included the hit “Maniac,” featuring Bills’ character as she jumps, twirls, stomps her feet, and slow-burns the song.

“There are not enough words to express my love and gratitude,” Cara told the Academy Awards crowd in her acceptance speech. “Last but not least, very special gentlemen who I believe started it all for me years ago. To Alan Parker, wherever you are tonight, I thank him.’

Born in New York City, Cara began her Broadway career with small roles in short-lived shows, although the musical, titled Nobody Knows Me, ran for more than 300 performances. In the mid-1990s, she toured in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar as Mary Magdalene, and in 2012-14 toured in the musical Flashdance with her songs.

She also formed the all-female group Irene Cara Presents Hot Caramel and released a double CD with the single “How Can I Make You Luv Me”. Among her films are “Spark” and “Taxi DC”.


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