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Cara, Irene

award musical song fame

CARA, IRENE. Actor, singer, songwriter. She was born with a musical gift and instinctively began playing piano by ear at age five. Taking her budding talent seriously, she studied music, acting, and dance, and made her stage debut in the Broadway musical “Maggie Flynn.” Cara recorded her first record in Spanish for the Latin market at age eight, and followed with a Christmas album in English. On television, as a member of the rock group The Short Circus, she delivered musical grammar lessons on the nationally syndicated educational program The Electric Company . Moving to film, she starred in the title role of Aaron Loves Angela , 1975, and followed that success with a starring role in the family-based musical drama Sparkle , 1976. The film that brought all of her talents together and made Cara a star was the performing arts high school-based megahit Fame , 1980. In addition to her acting, she contributed to the multi-platinum soundtrack by singing both the title song and the film’s second hit single “Out Here on My Own.” Both songs were nominated for Oscars that year, and the theme song from Fame took home the prize. It was the first time that two songs from one film had ever been nominated in the same category, and Cara became the only performer to ever sing two Academy Award nominated songs. Many more award nominations followed, including a Grammy nomination for Best New Female Artist and Best New Pop Artist, and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical. Billboard magazine named her Top New Single Artist and Cashbox gave her its Most Promising Female Vocalist and Top Female Vocalist awards. In 1982, she received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Award for her work in the NBC Movie of the Week, Sister, Sister . As the songwriter of the title song for Flashdance , 1983, Cara received another Academy Award, two Grammys, a Golden Globe, and a People’s Choice Award.

Filmography: Aaron Loves Angela , 1975; Sparkle , 1976; Roots: The Next Generation , 1979; Fame , 1980; D. C. Cab , 1984; City Heat , 1984; Killing ’Em Softly , 1985; Certain Fury , 1985; Busted Up , 1986; For Us the Living , 1988; Caged in Paradiso , 1989; The Magic Voyage , 1993; Happily Ever After , 1993.

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