Irene Cara

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About Irene Cara

Much like her character in the 1980 film Fame, Irene Cara is a talented singer, actress and performer. She helped define the early ’80s with a handful of songs—most notably “Flashdance...What a Feeling”. • Irene Cara Escalera was born in the Bronx to an Afro-Puerto Rican father and a Cuban American mother. • She made her Broadway debut at age eight and played the title role in the 1976 musical film Sparkle. In 1979, she appeared in the miniseries Roots: The Next Generations. • She was cast in the role of Coco Hernandez in 1980’s Fame, the film that would make her famous. Cara sang three songs on the soundtrack, including the title song, which reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Out Here On My Own”, which cracked the Top 20. • The Fame soundtrack went Top 10 on the Billboard 200. Both “Fame” and “Out Here On My Own” were nominated for Best Original Song at the 53rd Academy Awards, with the former taking the prize. • In 1982, Irene Cara released her debut album, Anyone Can See. • Cara co-wrote 1983’s “Flashdance...What a Feeling” with Keith Forsey and pioneering disco producer Giorgio Moroder. Featured in the film Flashdance, the single reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. • “Flashdance...What a Feeling” earned Irene Cara an Oscar for Best Original Song, plus two Grammys, including Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. • In 2008, Cara claimed that she’d been “pretty much blackballed” in the music industry after a royalty dispute that ended with her winning in court in 1993.

New York, NY, United States
18 March 1959
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