Musicians, actors, artists and many others in the entertainment industry are mourning the death of actress, singer, songwriter and producer Irene Cara.
Cara died on Friday (November 25) aged 63. The news was confirmed on social media by her publicist Judith Moose, who stated that she “passed away at her home in Florida” and that “the cause of her death is currently unknown. She added: “She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live on forever through her music and films.”
The Puerto Rican-Cuban icon was best known for performing the title tracks of the 1980 musical film reputation and the 1983 dance drama Flashdance, which won him an Oscar for Best Song. She also starred in reputation as the main character, Coco Hernandez.
In 2004, the American Film Institute (AFI) ranked “Fame” at number 51 and “Flashdance…What a Feeling” at number 55 on its “100 Years…100 Songs” list.
Celebrities from all over the world paid tribute to him on social media this past weekend. Actor and comedian John Leguizamo credited Cara as “one of the reasons I’m here today… She made me believe that if you were Latina you could make it! She fueled my community. She will be missed! Rest in strength!”
Singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz wrote about how inspiring Cara’s music was to him. “Irene Cara, you have inspired me more than you could ever know,” he wrote on Twitter. “Your songwriting and vocals created a pure energy that will never end. You also defined an era that is so close to my heart.”
Actress Selma Blair recalled how much Cara meant to her when she was little. “I made up basement dances to Irene Cara songs,” she wrote. “The soundtrack of my childhood. What a beautiful woman.”
Actress and comedian Leslie Jones mentioned that Cara’s films reputation and the 1976s Spark they were two of her favorites. “I thought one day I would meet her,” Jones tweeted. “She was so talented! This business was not 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 performed in reputation.
For “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” Cara also won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.