Award-winning singer Irene Cara has died at age 63.

The US musician, who performed and co-wrote the iconic song Flashdance (What a Feeling), passed away in her Florida home, according to a statement released by her publicist.

Judith Moose also said the cause of death was “unknown and will be released when information is available”.

“This is the absolute worst part of being a publicist … I can’t believe I’ve had to write this, let alone release the news,” Ms Moose wrote.

“Please share your thoughts and memories of Irene. I’ll be reading each and every one of them and know she’ll be smiling from Heaven. She adored her fans.”

Born in New York to a Puerto Rican father and Cuban-American mother, Cara’s first taste of show business success came when she was just a teenager in the 1976 musical drama, Sparkle.

She hit the top of the charts in 1980 with Fame, recording the title song for the movie.

She also sang the second single from FameOut Here on My Own, which was part of a soundtrack album that also topped the charts.

Four years later, Flashdance (What a Feeling) — from the film Flashdance, starring Jennifer Beals — rocketed to number one in the US, Canada and Australia.

The track earned Cara an Academy Award for best original song in 1983, and two Grammy Awards in 1984 — best female pop vocal performance and best album of a film or television original score.

She went on to enjoy further top 10 hits with Why Me? (1983) and Breakdance (1984) before her pop career faded in the late 1980s.

Image: Getty Images 

This article first appeared on OverSixty.