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Irene Cara (born Irene Cara Escalera; March 18, 1959) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She sang and co-wrote the international hit song 'Flashdance... What a Feeling' (from the movie Flashdance), for which she won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1984. She is also known for playing the role of Coco Hernandez in the 1980 film Fame, and for recording the film's title song 'Fame', which became an international hit. Cara also played the title character Sparkle Williams in the 1976 film Sparkle.