Friday, June 21, 2024

RIP Irene Cara, 63, Grammy and Oscar Winning Singer of Two Iconic Hits, “Flashdance” and “Fame” of the 1980s


Irene Cara has died at age 63 in Miami. Cara rose to fame quickly with the Alan Parker movie, “Fame.” She sang the theme song, which became a massive hit that has lived on and on for over 40 years. Lightning struck twice when she recorded the theme to “Flashdance (What a Feeling)” which became an even bigger hit soon after and is still played every day. For that song, Cara won an Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe.

Cara co-wrote the lyrics to “Flashdance” with famed producer Giorgio Moroder and drummer Keith Forsey. For a couple of years after, Cara had minor hits, but her chart days were over by 1985.

But Cara didn’t write “Fame” so there was not much money in it for her beyond the initial sales of the records. With “Flashdance,” she split the writing credit three ways. When “Fame” and “Flashdance” are heard on the radio, only the writers get paid. For commercials she would have been paid a small fee if anything. And that made her career an uphill battle. Legislation is constantly being proposed to get performers their royalties. Imagine what her life would have been like if that had been the case.

Rest in peace.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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