Singer, songwriter and actress Irene Cara has passed away.
The 63-year-old award-winning artist died on Friday at age 63. According to her publicist Judith A. Moose of JM Media Group, Cara was at her Florida home. She released a statement early Saturday.
From Cara’s Twitter account, she shared the devastating news, writing, “This is the absolute worst part of being a publicist. I can’t believe I’ve had to write this, let alone release the news. Please share your thoughts and memories of Irene. I’ll be reading each and every one of them and know she’ll be smiling from Heaven. She adored her fans. – JM”
“It is with profound sadness that, on behalf of her family, I announce the passing of Irene Cara. The Academy Award-winning actress, singer, songwriter and producer passed away in her Florida home. Her cause of death is currently unknown and will be released when information is available.”
This is the absolute worst part of being a publicist. I can’t believe I’ve had to write this, let alone release the news. Please share your thoughts and memories of Irene. I’ll be reading each and every one of them and know she’ll be smiling from Heaven. She adored her fans. – JM pic.twitter.com/TsC5BwZ3fh
— Irene Cara (@Irene_Cara) November 26, 2022
Moose continued, “Irene’s family has requested privacy as they process their grief. She was a beautifully-gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films. Funeral services are pending, and a memorial for her fans will be planned at a later date.”
The Bronx-born, Afro-Rican and Cuban beauty’s career spanned decades. Cara, who was a self-taught piano player by age five, won a Grammy, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and People’s Choice Award throughout her illustrious career.
According to her website, “Her professional career began on Spanish-language television singing and dancing before performing on shows including The Original Amateur Hour, The Ed Sullivan Show, and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Her talent was also showcased On and Off-Broadway in various productions, including Ain’t Misbehavin’, the Obie Award-winning musical The Me Nobody Knows, Maggie Flynn starring Shirley Jones and Tony Award-nominated actor Jack Cassidy, and Via Galactica opposite Raul Julia.
Having performed on the stage, the next natural progression seemed to be series television. She would find a home on the daytime drama Love of Life and the educational series The Electric Company, where she participated as a member of the group ‘The Short Circus’, teaching children about grammar.”
Cara was such a dynamic performer that she earned her first leading movie role in the 1976 hit movie Sparkle, which also starred Philip Michael Thomas and Lonette McKee. In 1980, she starred as Coco Hernandez in the cult classic Fame– the story of the trials, triumphs and tribulations of uber-talented New York high students at a performing arts high school.
Cara wrote two hit singles from the film– “Fame” and “Out Here On My Own.”
In 1983, Cara penned the hit “Flashdance…What A Feeling” for the widely-successful movie Flashdance. In 1984, the talented artist won a Grammy for “Best Original Song.”
Fans reacted to the singer’s death on social media.
“She was wonderful in the original Sparkle. RIP Irene Cara,” Mrs. Beebody wrote on Twitter.
She was wonderful in the original Sparkle.
RIP Irene Cara pic.twitter.com/C5GdxPGAVJ
— Mrs. Beebody 🐝 (@MrsBeebody) November 26, 2022
Irene Cara was a part of my childhood (growing up an 80’s kid). From “Flashdance.. What A Feeling”, “Fame”, and then discovering her amazing performance in “Sparkle”! May she Rest In Heaven ❤️ pic.twitter.com/bRdKVIOtYK
— PiscesKing1 (@Piscesking37) November 26, 2022
As a teenager who could not find her tribe, FAME gave me hope that it was ok to be different! Condolences to friends and family 😔
— Woo (@wendywaw) November 26, 2022
My heart goes out to Irene Cara’s family and friends. Praying for their comfort during this tremendous loss. 🕊🙏🏾💔 pic.twitter.com/gyeY3H43n3
— Shawne White Land (she/her) (@shawnesjplife) November 26, 2022
A dear friend of mine, Jery, moved to NYC after college, and took a job at an ice-cream shop on, I think, 1st Avenue. He said @Irene_Cara would come into the shop – and, it was, for him, what made New York the only place that he would ever want to live. He adored her.
— Swami Sevananda Saraswati Ⓥ (@salutethebeard) November 26, 2022
— Lambily (@Lambily_MC_Soul) November 26, 2022
Yes she played Coco and sang Fame & What a Feeling for Flashdance. But We ✊🏾first came to know #IreneCara as #Sparkle and Alex Haley’s mother in Roots Next Generation. Rest In Peace Beautiful Irene #BlackTwitter pic.twitter.com/jdHO33kf7N
— Renee (@ReneeRevelation) November 26, 2022
The angels will dance together….RIP….😪🙏🙏
My sincere condolences to his family, friends.
Another part of my childhood leaves… pic.twitter.com/Wzqzyw86Yl
— jadzzia.MJ (@jadzziaMJ) November 26, 2022
Our prayers and condolences to Irene Cara’s family.