NEW YORK (AP) — Oscar and Golden Globe and two-time Grammy award-winning singer and actress Irene Cara, who stars in and sings the title adaptation of the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then the rap song “Flashdance… What a Feeling” 1983 “Flashdance” feels like. , had died She was 63 years old.
Her publicist, Judith A. Moss, announced the news on social media, writing that the cause of death was “currently unknown.” Moss also confirmed the death to an Associated Press reporter on Saturday. Kara died at her home in Florida. The exact day of her death has not been revealed.
“Erin’s family asked for privacy while they processed their grief,” Moss wrote. “She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live on forever through her music and films.”
Over the course of her career, Cara has had three top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Breakdance”, “Fame” and “Flashdance… What A Feeling” which spent six weeks at number one. The most upbeat, high-energy pop anthems of the early ’80s, including “Out Here On My Own” and “Why Me?”
Tributes poured in Saturday on social media, including from Deborah Cox, who called Cara an inspiration, and Holly Robinson Beatty, who recalled seeing Cara perform: “The crazy combination of talent and beauty was overwhelming to me. It hurts my heart so much.”
She first rose to prominence among young actors playing performing arts high school students in Alan Parker’s “Fame” with co-stars Debbie Allen, Paul McCrane, and Anne Meara. Cara played Coco Hernandez, a hardworking dancer who endures all kinds of privations, including a dreaded nude photo shoot.
“How bright our spirits are in space depends on how much we contribute to the earthly brilliance of this world. And I mean to be a major contributor!” she says in the film.
Cara sang lead on the soaring title song with the chorus – “Remember my name / I’ll live forever / I’ll learn to fly / I feel it coming together / People will see me and cry” – which would go on to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. She also performed on “Out Here on My Own,” “Hot Lunch Jam,” and “I Sing the Body Electric.”
Allen took to Twitter on Saturday to grieve, posting pictures of the two of them together and calling Cara a “talented and beautiful genius. Her talent and music will live forever! Remember her name forever!” Lenny Kravitz addressed Cara in a tweet: “She has inspired me more than you could possibly know. Created writing Songs and singing are pure energy that will never stop. It also defined an era that is very close to my heart.”
Three years later, she and the “Flashdance” songwriting team — music by Giorgio Moroder, lyrics by Keith Forsey and Cara — were accepting the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Flashdance… What a Feeling.”
The film stars Jennifer Beals as a steely town girl who dances in a bar at night and hopes to attend a prestigious dance institute. It included the hit song “Maniac”, which featured Beals’ character jumping, spinning and stomping her feet and the slow-burning theme song.
“There are not enough words to express my love and gratitude,” Cara told the Oscars audience in her thanks. “And last but not least, there is a very special man who I believe started it all for me many years ago. To Alan Parker, wherever I am tonight, I thank him.”
New York-born Cara began her career on Broadway, with small parts in short-lived shows, although a musical called “The Me Nobody Knows” ran for more than 300 performances. She toured the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” as Mary Magdalene in the mid-1990s and toured the musical “Flashdance” in 2012-2014 with her songs.
She also created the all-female band Erin Kara Presents Hot Caramel and released a double CD containing the song “How Can I Make You Luv Me”. Her movie credits include “Sparkle” and “DC Cab”.
Associated Press reporters Hillel Itali and Frida Fresaro contributed to this report.
Mark Kennedy in http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
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