Interesting Facts about Irene Cara, legendary singer, dancer and actress


If you were an 80s child, then it is most likely that your day would not be complete without hearing hit songs like Fame and Flashdance…What a Feeling. It should come as no surprise that people in the 1980s jammed to this song nonstop because the latter song spent six consecutive weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Behind this song’s popularity was a legend, an icon—Irene Cara. Today, not a lot of people are aware that Cara was behind several successful hit songs and iconic films. So what other facts are there about Irene Cara’s life and the legacy that she left behind?

Facts about Irene Cara you may not know 

1. Cara’s voice was used in animated films 

If you think Cara’s voice is solely tailor-made for songs, prepare to be amazed because her voice has been used in animated films.

While the film in question may not be the iconic Disney classic you know and love, it is still pretty impressive nonetheless that Cara got to use her voice for Beauty in the 1992 film, Beauty and the Beast. Aside from this piece, she also voiced Leonette in the 1994 animation, The Jungle King. 

It just goes to show that her voice is suited for a variety of things, thus making her an extremely flexible individual with regards to using her voice. 

2. Cara has six awards and six nominations under her name

When you think about it, it is exceptionally hard to make a name for yourself in the music industry, knowing that you will be up against musicians like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Freddie Mercury, and Whitney Houston, all of whom dominated the scene with their catchy songs. But despite these odds, Cara was able to claw her way to the top, gaining six awards under her belt. 

The awards that the iconic singer won were:

    • Oscar for Best Original Song in 1984 
    • Golden Globe for Best Original Song in the year 1984
    • Grammy for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special in 1983
  • Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in the year 1984. 
    • NAACP Image Award for Best Actress in a TV Movie, Miniseries, or Drama Special in 1982
  • NMPA Best Song in a Movie in 1983

Cara was also nominated for the following awards:

  • BAFTA Awards Best Original Song 1983
  • Golden Globes Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical 1980
  • Grammy Awards Album of the Year for “Flashdance (Original Soundtrack From The Motion Picture)”
  • Grammy Awards Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for “Fame”
  • Grammy Awards Best New Artist

3. Cara was multilingual 

Cara was not only talented when it came to performing; it turns out that she was also gifted when it came to speaking other languages. We all know how difficult it is to study a language that is entirely different from our own, but she was able to achieve this while she was busy with her stardom at the time. 

Despite being born and raised in the Bronx, she is well known for speaking German, French, and Spanish with ease. 

4. Alessia Cara is rumored to be Irene Cara’s offspring

Cara’s marriage and divorce were made known publicly; however, nothing ever mentions her bearing a child with her ex-husband, stuntman, and film director, Conrad Palmisano. She never remarried or had a romantic relationship with anyone after her divorce, according to various biographical records. 

In spite of this, Cara was still connected to someone who, surprisingly, shared the same last name as her. You may have heard of the name Alessia Cara; if so, this is the person that was rumored to be the child of the late singer. 

While it does make sense to speculate that these two are related, given that talent tends to run in families and that it is evident Alessia Cara is also a musician, this speculation was proven to be false. 

Alessia Cara’s parents are both Italian, and she was born in Canada. Apart from this, the strongest evidence that proves that the Canadian singer is not related to Irene Cara is her last name itself. Yes, you read that right. 

Alessia’s last name, Cara, was actually shortened on purpose, and the singer herself made this change. Her full surname is Caracciolo. 

5. Cara filed a lawsuit against her former record label 

Cara’s eight-year legal battle with her former record company, Network Records, and its executive, Al Coury, prevented her from enjoying the spotlight for very long. She accused Network Records of keeping millions of dollars in royalties from her, and that is what led to the lawsuit

Coury used the lawsuit against the singer and made it appear as if the singer was “hard to deal with” as an artist. All that and other disdainful rumors were spread due to Coury’s ill feelings towards the singer. 

Cara sought $10 million in punitive damages, but the California jury only gave the singer $1.5 million a decade later. It appears that this had an unpleasant effect on the singer’s career; as quoted by Cara herself, she was “blacklisted by the music industry” after the lengthy lawsuit. 

Irene Cara’s unwavering tenacity, triumph, and unbridled talent will live on forever in the hearts of millions of people. She has certainly proven herself more than once when it comes to stardom. 

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