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The Devastating Death Of Irene Cara

Singer and actress Irene Cara, best known for her role as Coco Hernandez in the 1980 musical "Fame" and being the stunning voice behind the iconic main theme of the 1983 musical "Flashdance" titled "Flashdance... What a Feeling," has died in her Florida home (per The Hollywood Reporter). She was 63 years old. The news came out this Saturday, November 26. At the time of this writing, a cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

Cara's publicist, Judith Moose, who had a close relationship with the multifaceted American star, posted the news on the artist's Twitter, 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."

In tribute to the singer, a fan, music lover, and Melbourne resident Leo Stubbing also tweeted out a special Spotify playlist he made. Some of the fan responses to the post included a comment saying: "This will be my Playlist today. And for some other days for sure. Thanks for sharing."

A life and career to remember

Irene Cara was born in the Bronx in 1959 as the youngest child born to Cuban-Puerto Rican parents (per People). According to The New York Times, her career on the screen officially began as a child actor on Spanish-language television.

Her big break, one that would make her a name to remember, came in 1980 when she was cast in the musical "Fame" as Coco Hernandez, which would allow her to step on the stage at the Academy Awards. The year after, her memorable performance would reward her with a nomination for best actress at the Golden Globes. The role of Hernandez was later played by Erica Gimpel in the TV series which aired from 1982 to 1987. "Fame" was remade in 2009, but the reviews were overall not as positive as the original, as one can confer on Rotten Tomatoes.

In the same decade, while in her 20s, Cara co-wrote the iconic single from "Flashdance" to which she also contributed vocals, still highly recognized today. This earned her the Academy Award in 1984 as well as a Golden Globe. In addition, that same year, she shared the screen with Clint Eastwood in the police thriller "City Heart."

Cara's music career suffered a shift when, in 1993, as reported by People Magazine, her $10 million lawsuit against her record company went before a jury in the State of California.

In recent years, Cara hosted a podcast, "The Back Story." In the last episode available, she briefly mentions the lawsuit, but what truly mattered to the artist was that she "got [her] masters back and now some 30 years later" she had the opportunity of sharing her songs with her fans.