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Irene Cara, Singer of "Flashdance...What a Feeling" and "Fame," Dies at 63

Cara won an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Golden Globe for "Flashdance."

Irene Cara
(image via YouTube)

Singer, songwriter, and actor Irene Cara has died at the age of 63, according to a statement form her publicist. Cara passed away at her home; the cause of death is currently unknown.

Cara sang and co-wrote the hit song "Flashdance...What a Feeling" from the movie Flashdance, for which she won the 1984 Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as that year's Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. She also earned a Golden Globe for the song.

The youngest of five children, Cara — born Irene Cara Escalera in the Bronx — began her career singing and dancing on Spanish television. She made early television appearances on The Original Amateur Hour, Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, and The Electric Company

Cara made her Broadway debut in the 1968 musical Maggie Flynn, opposite Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy. She co-starred in the off-Broadway and Broadway productions of The Me Nobody Knows, as well as the original off-Broadway run of the revue Ain't Misbehavin'. Her Broadway credits also include the short-lived musicals Via Galactica and Got Tu Go Disco, as well as Lotta, off-Broadway at the Public Theater. In the 1990s, she toured as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar.

In addition to "Flashdance...What a Feeling," Cara was the vocalist behind the hit song "Fame," appearing in the 1980 film in the role of Coco Hernandez. She played the title role in the 1976 film Sparkle, and over her career sang backup for artists including Lou Reed and Oleta Adams.

"She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films," Cara's publicist said in a statement. "Funeral services are pending and a memorial for her fans will be planned at a future date."


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