Irene Cara Escalera was a black, Puerto Rican, and Cuban-American singer, songwriter, and actor. Cara gained worldwide fame after she was cast as Coco Hernandez in the 1980 musical film Fame and performed the film’s title song, “Fame,” which became a top hit in several countries.
Estimated Wealth of Irene Cara
At the time of her death in November 2022, Irene Cara was worth an estimated $2 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Most of their earnings came from her well-known singing and acting activities.
How Much Irene Cara Makes in Royalties
“Flashdance… What a Feeling” was included in Cara’s debut album. She had only received $183 from Network Records by 1984. Over a period of six months, she received sixty thousand dollars from the record company as royalties. In 1985, she filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that Al Coury owes her $2 million in unpaid Flashdance royalties.
The singer sued the record company for $10 million in punitive damages. Afterward, Cara claimed that the industry treated her unfairly due to the smear campaign launched by Coury. The Los Angeles court awarded her $1.5 million for career damages in 1993.
On March 18, 1959, Irene Cara Escalera entered the world in The Bronx, New York. Gaspar Escalera worked in manufacturing before retiring to play the saxophone, and Louise was a movie theater usher.
Irene’s mother is from Cuban America, while her father is from Puerto Rico. Cara is the youngest of five siblings and competed as a toddler for the title of Little Miss America.
As a young girl, Irene had lessons in acting, music, and dancing, and she eventually taught herself to play the piano by ear. She got her to start performing on Spanish-language variety shows.
Cara attended the Professional Children’s School in Manhattan and made a CD in Spanish as well as an English Christmas album when she was a young girl.
The first three Broadway musicals Cara was in were Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1978), The Wiz (1980), and Jesus Christ Superstar (1981). (1983).
Love of Life, shown on CBS in 1970, marked her first appearance on the small screen. The next year, she was cast in Kojak’s (1976), then What’s Happening (1977), and finally Roots: The Next Generations (1987). (1980).
Sparkle (1976), Apple Pie (1976), and Aaron Loves Angela (1975) were a few of Cara’s other film credits (1977).
Playing Coco Hernandez in the 1980 film Fame propelled her to fame. In addition to performing the song “Fame,” she also sang “Out Here on My Own” in the film. On the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs list, Fame was number one.
The lifestyle of Irene Cara, Personally
Irene and her ex-husband, the actor, director, and stuntman Conrad Palmisano, tied the knot on April 13, 1986, in Los Angeles. Palmisano included Cara in his 1986 film “Busted Up,” and Conrad directed her in the science fiction Western “Space Rage” in 1985.
Honors Received by Irene Cara
Cara won an Academy Award for “Flashdance… What a Feeling” in the category of Best Music, Original Song in 1984. In 1981, she was nominated for a Golden Globe and won it for Best Original Song for her work on “Fame.” At the Grammys, her performance of “Fame” earned her nominations for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.
Grammys for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female went to Irene in 1984, and she was also nominated for Album of the Year and Record of the Year.
The song was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Original Song and the National Music Publishers Association Award for Best Song in a Motion Picture. Cara received an NAACP Image Award for her performance in “Sister, Sister” in 1982. In 2004, she was honored into the Ciboney Cafe Hall of Fame and presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Prestige Awards.