Irene Cara (born March 18 1962) is an American singer and actress. Cara won an Academy Award in 1984 in the category of Best Original Song for co-writing "Flashdance... What a Feeling". She also starred in the 1980 film version of "Fame". Cara captivated her first audience - her family - sometime after her fifth birthday when she began to play the piano by ear. Cara soon moved into serious studies of music acting and dance. At the age of three she was one of five finalists for the "Little Miss America" pageant.
The motion picture Fame earned Cara Grammy nominations in 1980 for Best New Female Artist and Best New Pop Artistas well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical. Billboard Magazine named her Top New Single Artist while Cashbox Magazine awarded her both Most Promising Female Vocalist and Top Female Vocalist.
The 1980 box office smash movie Fame catapulted Irene to stardom. As Coco Hernandez she sang both the title song "Fame" and the film’s second hit single "Out Here on My Own". These songs helped make the movie sound track a chart-topping multi-platinum album. Further history was made when at the Academy Awards that year for the first time two songs from one film were nominated in the same category: "Fame" and "Out Here on My Own". Cara had the opportunity to be one of the few singers to perform more than one song at the Oscar ceremony. "Fame" written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford won the award that year.
Asked by the Fame TV series' producers to reprise her role as Coco Hernandez she declined so as to focus her attention on her recording career. As a result newcomer Erica Gimpel who looked similar to Cara played the role instead. However Cara did make a special guest appearance on the series in 1983 as a "successful alumna" of the performing-arts school portrayed in the series singing her then-current single "Why Me?".
In 1983 Irene reached the apex of her music career with the title song for the movie Flashdance "Flashdance...What A Feeling" which she co-wrote with Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey. Cara wrote the lyrics to the song with Keith Forsey while riding in a car in New York heading to the studio to record it Moroder wrote the music.
She won the 1983 Academy Award for Best Song (Oscar), 1984 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, 1984 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, Top Female Vocalist-Pop Singles Black Contemporary Female Vocalist-Pop Singles Top Pop Crossover Artist-Black Contemporary Singles Pop Single of the Year American Music Awards for Best R&B Female Artist and Best Pop Single of the Year.
Along with her career in acting and several hit singles Cara has released three albums thus far. Those albums are "Anyone Can See" in 1982, "What A Feelin" in 1983 and "Carasmatic" in 1987 the most successful of these being "What A Feelin". Cara received two prestigious honors for her career in March 2004 with her induction into the Ciboney Cafe's Hall of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award presented at the sixth annual Prestige Awards. [wikipedia]