IRENE CARA, one of the most successful singers of the 1980s, has died at the age of 63.
The Oscar and Grammy winning musician passed away at her Florida home, it has been confirmed.
Many fans initially refused to believe the news, as it comes just hours after a cruel hoax falsely claimed the Academy Award-winning had died.
But her publicist Judith Moose announced the news in a statement released on Cara’s official Twitter account.
She was best known for singing and co-writing the track Flashdance… What A Feeling, for which she won an Oscar as well as two Grammy Awards.
She also portrayed the character of Coco Hernandez in the hit 1980 musical film Fame.
Ms Moose said the cause of death is not yet known. “It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara,” she wrote.
“The Academy Award winning actress, singer, songwriter, and producer passed away in her Florida home. Her cause of death is currently unknown and will be released when information is available.
Irene Cara shot to fame in the late 1970s and became a musical icon Paramount Pictures
“Irene’s family has requested privacy as they process their grief.
"She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films.
"Funeral services are pending and a memorial for her fans will be planned at a future date.”
The publicist also asked people to share their thoughts and memories of the singer, adding: “I’ll be reading each and every one of them and know she’ll be smiling from Heaven. She adored her fans.”
Cara, who was born in the Bronx, New York City, in 1959, worked in television and theatre before landing the lead role in the 1976 musical drama Sparkle. She was then catapulted to international fame for her performance in Fame, for which she garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.
Her famous Flashdance song also won her an Oscar for Best Original Song and two Grammy awards for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or A Television Special and for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Some fans initially refused to believe the statement announcing her death. One, Twitter user Rachael, said: "Sorry if this is true but I'm afraid after the hoax it's difficult to believe.
"On Friday (November 25) the actress' reps officially confirmed that Irene Cara wasn't dead."
But after official confirmation was issued, tributes to the star began to pour in.
Irene Cara portrayed Coco Hernandez in the hit 1980 film Fame MGM
Former Disney staffer Steven McCoy wrote: "I first met Ms. Irene Cara many years ago, she was truly a beautiful, kind and spiritual woman. She even sent me a gift package to my home and still hold dear to my heart. You will be truly missed."
Fans of the iconic singer also flooded social media to share their grief.
Twitter user Jimmy Pavolic said: "So sad to hear the passing of Irene Cara. This song ever since I heard it as a 12-year-old has stuck with me, my sincerest condolences to his family, friends & fans. R.I.P Irene Cara."
Michael DeLorenzo, who played a prominent dancing role in Fame, shared a black-and-white picture of Cara on his Instagram account, adding: ‘No words …so I’ll leave you with hers…’
He then shared the lyrics to Cara’s song Fame from the classic film of the same name: ‘I’m gonna live forever, I’m gonna learn how to fly (High). I feel it coming together. People will see me and cry. I’m gonna make it to heaven. Light up the sky like a flame.’