Irene Cara, Oscar-winning singer of hits including ‘Fame’, dies at 63

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Irene Cara, the American singer and actress best known for the titles of the films “Fame” and “Flashdance”, has died, her publicist announced on Saturday.

“I can’t believe I had to write this, let alone publish the news,” publicist Judith A. Moose wrote. on the artist’s Twitter account.

Cara died at her home in Florida, her publicist said in a statement, adding that the cause of death was currently unknown. “He was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live on forever through his music and films,” she added.

Born in New York, Cara began her career as a child on television in Spanish. She appeared alongside Rita Moreno, Bill Cosby and Morgan Freeman on the PBS children’s show “The Electric Company” from 1971 to 1972, as a member of the show’s band, the Short Circus.

As a teenager, she played Sparkle Williams in the 1976 musical “Sparkle.” Although the film, about a burgeoning girl group in mid-century Harlem, was a box office disappointment, it developed a cult following with black audiences and inspired a 2012 remake starring Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston.

Cara’s mainstream breakthrough came with the role of Coco Hernandez in the 1980 musical “Fame” – a film about students auditioning for New York City’s public performing arts high school, now called Fiorello H. LaGuardia High. School of Music & Art and Performing Arts – for which she also sang the Grammy-nominated title track.

A few years later, she co-wrote and performed the song “Flashdance…What a Feeling,” which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and two Grammys, for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Original Score. a movie.

She also appeared in films such as “City Heat”, alongside Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds, and “Certain Fury”, with Tatum O’Neal.

Officials in Largo, Florida, where Cara’s home is listed in public records, did not immediately provide details of her death.

Thomas Floyd contributed to this report, which has been updated with new information.

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