Hollywood celebrities paid tribute to Oscar-winning singer Irene Caras on Saturday, whose death was announced by her publicist late Friday.
Cara, 63, whose real name was Irene Escalera, died at her Florida home. It was unclear when she died and at what residence. According to the Tampa Bay Times, she bought a home in Largo in 2014. She also had an address in New Port Richey, where her music company, Caramel Productions, is based, the newspaper reported.
“Flashdance” star Jennifer Beals, Debbie Allen and Questlove were among the notables remembering the singer, who rose to prominence in the 1980 musical “Fame” and won an Academy Award for the 1983 hit, “Flashdance... What A Feeling.”
Beals, who starred in “Flashdance,” shared a photo to Instagram of herself with Cara at the 1984 Academy Awards ceremony.
“Thank you brilliant Irene for your open heart and your fearless triple-threat talent,” Beals wrote. “It took a beautiful dreamer to write and perform the soundtracks for those who dare to dream.”
Allen, who starred in 136 episodes of the television version of “Fame” that was based on the film and aired from 1982 to 1987, tweeted, “My Heart Is Broken. #IreneCara was such a gifted and beautiful genius. Her talent and her music will LIVE FOREVER! FOREVER REMEMBER HER NAME!”
Allen also directed 11 episodes of the television series.
Also sharing condolences was “Stranger Things” star Matthew Modine, who tweeted, “What a presence. What a voice. She defined a decade with her songs.”
Cara began her career as a child singer and dancer before breaking out with the 1980 musical film “Fame.” She starred as Coco Hernandez and sang the title song and “Out Here on My Own,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Both songs were nominated for Academy Awards.
“Flashdance… What a Feeling” from the 1983 film Flashdance, earned her an Oscar and a Grammy Award. Other credits include the 1976 film Sparkle, along with a number of Broadway productions.
John Leguizamo tweeted that Cara “was one of the reasons I am here today! She made me believe if you were Latin you could make it! She fueled my community.”
New York Mayor Eric Adams tweeted that Cara, who was born in the New York borough of the Bronx, “sang New York City’s song.”
“She reached for the stars and delivered a soundtrack for the ages,” Adams added.
“Now ... there is nothing,” Questlove tweeted. “Goodbye Irene Cara. I’m sad about this.”
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