Irene Cara, the Oscar-winning singer who performed the electric tracks in two ambitious 1980s self-expression films, “Flashdance” and “Fame,” has died. She was 63 years old.
His death at his home in Florida was confirmed by his publicist, Judith A. Moose, on Twitter Saturday. Ms Moose, who did not say when Ms Cara died, said her cause of death was ‘currently unknown and will be released when information becomes available’.
Ms. Cara, a child actress, dancer and singer, was the voice behind two of the greatest movie theme songs of the 1980s. She performed the title track from the film “Fame” (1980).
In 1984, she won the Oscar for Best Original Song as one of the writers for “Flashdance…What a Feeling”, the title track of “Flashdance”, which she also sang. The dynamic song also earned Ms. Cara a Grammy Award in 1984 for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
Ms. Cara was born Irene Escalera on March 18, 1959 in the Bronx. She has repeatedly disputed reports of her birth year, sometimes describing it as 1964. Her official Twitter account states that she was born in 1962. Her mother told The New York Times in 1970 that a young Ms. Cara , already a busy artist, was 11 years old.
His mother, Louise Escalera, was a cashier and his father, Gaspar Escalera, was a musician and worked in a steel mill. Details of Ms Cara’s survivors were not immediately available.
Ms Cara grew up in New York and took music, acting and dance lessons as a child and could have played the piano by ear at the age of five. She attended the Professional Children’s School in Manhattan, a school for child performers and children studying the arts.
As a child, she sang and danced on Spanish-speaking television. By age 13, she was a regular on “The Electric Company,” a 1970s children’s show. She was also a member of his band, the Short Circus.
She’s kept busy, taking on theatre, television and film roles, including the title role in “Sparkle,” a 1976 film about a family of female singers in the 1960s that was remade in 2012. .
Her breakout role was in the musical “Fame,” where she played Coco Hernandez, a student at an inspired school at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. On the film’s soundtrack, Ms. Cara sang the title track, “Fame”, and another single, the ballad “Out Here on My Own”.
Both songs were nominated for an Oscar in 1981. The film was nominated for several awards, and “Fame” won both Best Original Song and Best Score.
She continued to act and make music into the 1990s, when she was embroiled in a legal battle with her record company over her earnings. She was awarded $1.5million by a California jury in 1993, but Ms Cara said she was “virtually blacklisted” by the music industry over the dispute, People magazine reported in 2001.
In recent years, she’s shared songs from her catalog, including some that hadn’t been released, on her podcast, “The Back Story.”
In a July 2019 episode, she opened up about her ballad “As Long As It Lasts,” and said it had similar qualities to “Out Here on My Own,” and explained why she connected with both. songs.
“Very bare, just vocal and piano and great lyrics and great story in the lyrics, those are the types of songs that I identify with as a songwriter,” Ms. Cara said.