To Millenials trying to understand “who was Irene Cara” for generation X, it’s like Zendaya was on screens and radios, immortalizing the sound of the 1980s with two anthems of the time: Fame and What a Feeling. Hence the surprise that even after “disappearing” in recent times, she died at the age of 63. The cause has not yet been disclosed.
With a beautiful voice and undeniable talent, Irene emerged as “the new Donna Summer” (a reference she wasn’t happy about) and exploded on the radio in 1980, with the soundtrack of the Alan Parker film – Fame – where she sang the title song and other hits such as Out Here On My Own, among others, for which she was nominated for a Grammy. Just three years later, he sang and signed the title song of Adrian Lyne‘s film, Flashdance, for which he won the Oscar for Best Song, Grammy, and other awards. She was only 24 years old, the youngest black artist to receive the award, and the only black woman to win an Oscar in a non-acting category.
Born in the Bronx, the daughter of Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants, from the age of three she showed musical talent. He recorded albums in Spanish and English (at a time when there was no cultural cross). As a child, he had a recording contract, appeared on American TV, and even attended (at just 10 years old) a Duke Ellington tribute concert, with Stevie Wonder, Sammy Davis Jr., and Roberta Flack.
Broadway followed and Irene was originally cast in the cultural phenomenon Roots. When the 1980s arrived, she took the world by storm as Coco Hernandez on Fame.
Her career peak came with Flashdance…What A Feelin’, in partnership with Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey, for which she won an Oscar and a Grammy Award for best female pop vocal performance in 1984, the Golden Globe for best original song, best female singer Female Pop Singles, Best Contemporary Black Pop Singles Female Artist, Best Black Contemporary Pop Female Crossover Singles Artist, Pop Song of the Year, and American Music Awards for Best Female R&B Artist and Best Pop Song of the Year.
Her musical career suffered from the legal fight against her record company. As an actress, she also did not have success after the 1990s, marking more presence on Broadway. When he received compensation from the record company, he began to perform more in Europe.
Irene was married only once. Lived in Florida for many years. The news of her death took fans by surprise and not much was known about her health in recent years. She left a great legacy of music and cinema classics.