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Irene Cara, Oscar-Winning Singer of “Flashdance” and “Fame” Theme Songs, Dead at 63

The singer-actress passed away at her home in Florida

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Irene Cara passes away
Irene Cara (photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)

    Irene Cara, who sang two of the most iconic theme songs in movie history, has passed away at the age of 63. The Oscar-winning singer-actress died in her Florida home on Friday (November 25th), according to her representative, with no cause of death disclosed.

    “It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara,” publicist Judith A. Moose shared on the singer’s social media pages. “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.”

    Cara is best known for singing the theme songs to the movies Fame (1980) and Flashdance (1983). The latter, “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” was co-written by Cara, and earned her the Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

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    In addition to singing the Fame theme song, she starred as Coco Hernandez in the movie about the ups and downs of students at New York’s High School of Performing Arts.

    While she’s best known for those two songs, she scored additional Top 20 pop hits with the tune “Out Here on My Own” (also from the Fame soundtrack) and the tracks “Why Me?” and “Breakdance” from her own 1983 album What a Feelin’. She also released the albums Anyone Can See (1982) and Carasmatic (1987).

    As an actress, Cara appeared in nearly 20 movies during her career, including Sparkle, D.C. Cab, and Certain Fury, among others.

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    Our condolences go out to Irene Cara’s family and friends during this difficult time. See her publicist’s full statement, and revisit her smash theme songs “Fame” and “Flashdance … What a Feeling” below.

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