Irene Cara Biography

Irene T Escalera, 18 March 1959, New York City, New York, USA. Having spent most of her childhood as a successful actor, singer and dancer, Cara’s role as Coco Hernandez in the 1980 Alan Parker movie Fame was tailor-made. Based around the lives, loves and ambitions of students at the New York School of Performing Arts, Cara’s rendition of the jubilant title song was an Oscar-winning international hit, reaching the number 1 spot, belatedly, in the UK. This sparked off an entire ‘Fame’ industry and a worldwide boost for sales of leg warmers. Another movie song, ‘Flashdance... What A Feeling’, from Flashdance, earned Cara a US number 1, a UK number 2 and yet another Oscar for Best Song. Signing to Geffen Records, Cara enjoyed further US hits with ‘Why Me’ (1983), a further movie hit with ‘The Dream (Hold On To Your Dream)’ from DC Cab, and the Top 10 hit ‘Breakdance’ (both 1984). Contractual disputes delayed her recording career in the mid-80s, before she re-emerged with a new album in 1987 on Elektra Records.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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