Mariah Carey, Diane Warren, Lenny Kravitz and More Pay Tribute to Irene Cara

Following the death of singer, songwriter, and actress Irene Cara, tributes are coming in for the Fame and Flashdance artist, who died at the age of 63 on Nov. 25.

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“I put on the original ‘Fame’ in honor of the late great Irene Cara,” wrote Mariah Carey on social media with a screenshot of the movie playing on her TV. Cara played the character of Coco Hernandez in the 1980 dance drama as well as singing the theme song and “Out Here on My Own” from the soundtrack of the film, which Carey also covered.

“Such an inspiration to so many, especially me,” added Carey. “Her beauty and talent is awe-inspiring in this movie. Rest in peace, dear angel.”

In response to Carey’s post, a statement was posted on Irene Cara’s Twitter page reading: “Thank you, Ms. Carey. I’d like you to know that Irene spoke of you often and was so honored that you considered her to be an inspiration as you found your place in the music industry. She was very proud of you and your accomplishments. Through you, a little of Irene will live on.”

In addition to her role in Fame, Cara also co-wrote and performed “Flashdance… What a Feeling” from the 1983 film Flashdance, which was co-written with composer Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey and earned her an Academy Award and Grammy Award in 1984.

“There aren’t enough words to express my love and my gratitude,” said Cara in her Oscar acceptance speech for Flashdance. “And last but not least, a very special gentleman who I guess started it all for me many years ago. To Alan Parker, wherever you may be tonight, I thank him.”

Sharing a photo of her with Cara at the Oscars in 1984, Flashdance actress Jennifer Beals wrote, “Thank you brilliant Irene for your open heart and your fearless triple threat talent. It took a beautiful dreamer to write and perform the soundtracks for those who dare to dream.”

Cara’s Fame co-star and choreographer Debbie Allen added, “Irene Cara was such a gifted and beautiful genius. Her talent and her music will live forever! Forever remember her name!”

Songwriter Diane Warren added, “Oh no. Sing in power forever Irene Cara. Light Up The Sky Like A Flame.”

Lenny Kravitz admitted to being “madly in love” with Irene Cara during her Fame era in his tribute.

“You inspired me more than you could ever know,” wrote Lenny Kravitz. “Your songwriting and vocals created pure energy that will never cease. You also defined an era that is so close to my heart. Your portrayal of Coco in Alan Parker’s ‘Fame’ is immortal and know that I was madly in love with her. Thank you, Irene. You’re gonna live forever.”

Born in the Bronx, New York in 1959, Cara started performing at age 5, singing and dancing on Spanish television and performing with her father Gaspar Cara’s mambo band. Cara also performed on and off Broadway as a child and starred in the children’s television show The Electric Company from 1971 through 1972 and more television roles, including an episode of Kojak and performing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson before landing her breakout role in Fame.

Singer Stephanie Mills, who co-starred with Cara in Maggie Flynn on Broadway in 1968 when they were children, said “Saddened by the death of my Broadway co-star Irene Cara. We were both so young on Broadway in the play ‘Maggie Flynn.’ My condolences to her family. Such an amazing talent and sweet person.”

See more tributes from the music world below:

Photo: Harry Langdon/Getty Images

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