Photo by:  Harry Langdon/Getty Images

Actress-singer Irene Cara who appeared in the 1980 hit film Fame and later sang the hit song “Flashdance… What a Feeling” from the 1983 film Flashdance, has passed away.

She won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and two-time Grammy awards. She was 63 years old.

Judith A. Moose, her publicist, shared the news on social media, and stated that the cause of death was “currently unknown.”

“Irene’s family has requested privacy as they process their grief,” Moose wrote. “She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films.”

Born on March 18th, 1959, Irene Escalera was born in the Bronx.

The renowned actress and singer attended performing arts classes as a young child while growing up in New York City.

She attended the Professional Children’s School, a school for young artists and performers, in Manhattan.

Before playing a teen in the films Aaron Loves Angela and Sparkle, Cara made her television debut on Electric Company as a young child.

Her big break came in 1980’s Fame, a musical about New York City’s High School for Performing Arts, as Coco Hernandez.

Both the song “Out Here on My Own” and the title track from the movie were hits for her. That year, she was also nominated for two Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe.

Phot by: Bettmann / Getty Images

In the 1990s, she continued making music and acting, but she was hindered by a lawsuit she had brought in 1985 against Network Records, a record company ran by Al Coury.

She filed a lawsuit for $10 million, alleging Mr. Coury had taken advantage of her and withheld earnings from Flashdance soundtrack and her first two solo songs, “Anyone Can See” (1982) and “What a Feelin’,” as well as from the soundtrack (1983).

According to a 2001 People Magazine article, the New York native was granted a $1.5 million from the lawsuit’s jury.

Cara expressed to People Magazine that the controversy had unfairly caused the music industry to “virtually blacklist” her and that she had been unfairly labeled as being difficult to work with.

Photo by: John Sciulli/WireImage

In 2020, two of her songs that she recorded from 1985 were never released due to the litigation were shared by her.

She has had several other successful songs, such as “Why Me” and “Breakdance.”

Additionally, she appeared in films like City Heat with Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds, D.C. Cab with Mr. T, and Certain Fury with Tatum O’Neal.

May Irene Cara rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones at this time. 

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