Musicians, actors, artists and many others in the entertainment industry are grieving over the death of actress, singer, songwriter, and producer Irene Cara.
Cara died on Friday (November 25) at the age of 63. The news was confirmed on social media by her publicist Judith Moose, who stated that she “passed away in her Florida home” and that “her cause of death is currently unknown.” She added: “She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films.”
The Puerto Rican-Cuban icon was best known for performing the title tracks to the 1980 movie musical Fame and the 1983 dance drama Flashdance, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Song. She also starred in Fame as the main character, Coco Hernandez.
In 2004, the American Film Institute (AFI) ranked the song “Fame” at No. 51 and “Flashdance… What a Feeling” No. 55 on its “100 Years…100 Songs” list.
Celebrities from all over paid tribute to her on social media this past weekend. Actor and comedian John Leguizamo credited Cara as “one of the reasons I am here today … She made me believe if you were Latin you could make it! She fueled my community. She will be missed! Rest in power!”
Singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz wrote about how inspirational Cara’s music was to him. “Irene Cara, you inspired me more than you could ever know,” he tweeted. “Your songwriting and vocals created pure energy that will never cease. You also defined an era that is so close to my heart.”
Actress Selma Blair remembered how much Cara meant to her when she was a little girl. “I made up dances in the basement to Irene Cara songs,” she wrote. “The soundtrack of my childhood. What a beautiful woman.”
Actress and comedian Leslie Jones mentioned that Cara’s movies Fame and 1976’s Sparkle were two of her favorites. “I thought one day I would maybe meet her,” Jones tweeted. “She was so talented! This business wasn’t kind to her but in my eyes, she will always be a legend! Rest in sweet Peace Angel! Irene Cara!”
Actress and singer Anika Noni Rose thanked Cara for inspiring her to believe in herself. “Your voice/words were the opening notes of the performer I’ve become,” she wrote alongside a video of her singing “Out Here on My Own,” which Cara sang in Fame.
For “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” Cara also won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.