Fame and Flashdance singer Irene Cara passed away yesterday of causes yet unknown at the age of 63.

The American singer and actress is well known for co-writing and singing the smash hit 'Flashdance... What a Feeling', for which she won an Oscar and a Grammy.

She will also be best remembered for her title track in the 1980 film Fame and for starring in films opposite Clint Eastwood and Tatum O'Neal.

Cara's publicist, who announced her death in a tweet, said she passed away at her Florida home but the cause is "currently unknown".

Cara grew up in the Bronx, New York City, in 1959, the youngest of five children with a Puerto Rican and a Cuban-American mother. She began her career at the tender age of five, singing and dancing on Spanish television performing with her fathers' mambo band.

She went on to appear in a number of on-and-off Broadway musicals, but she hit the limelight in 1980 when she took on the role of Coco Hernandez - and sung Fame's title track.

Her performance earned her a Best Actress nomination at the 1981 Golden Globe Awards.

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