Irene Cara – Fame – 1980

Official Video of Fame by Irene Cara – US 1980


  • Release year: 1980
  • Songwriter: Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford
  • Performers: Irene Cara
  • Duration: 5:14
  • Achievements: #1 in the US, UK and other countries.

Fame” is a pop song, written by Michael Gore (music) and Dean Pitchford (lyrics) and released in May 1980, that achieved chart success as the theme song to the Fame film and TV series. The song was performed by Irene Cara, who played the role of Coco Hernandez in the original film. It was also her debut single as a recording artist. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1980, and the Golden Globe Award the same year. In 2004, it finished at # 51 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

Irene Cara played the role of Coco Hernandez in the movie Fame and sang the vocals for the theme song. The music for the song was by Michael Gore and the lyrics were by Dean Pitchford. The song earned Cara a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The movie became an “overnight sensation”. The song won an Oscar for best film theme song in 1981. In July 1982, it was re-released on the back of the successful TV series and topped the charts in several countries, including the Netherlands, New Zealand and the UK. The movie was adapted into a TV series, which achieved notable ratings success in the latter country, and stage show which toured Europe.

The song was later used as the theme song for the Fame television series, which aired from 1982 to 1987. It was also used in other TV shows related to Fame.

Fame” rose to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1980. It also reached #1 on the Billboard dance chart for 1 week. The song was re-released in the UK in July 1982, where it peaked at the top of the UK Singles Chart for 3 weeks following the debut of the Fame TV series on the British television network BBC One the previous month, becoming Britain’s 3rd best-selling song of 1982 behind “Eye of The Tiger” by Survivor and “Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners and the Emerald Express, the latter of which dethroned “Fame” from the top of the UK Singles Chart. It has over sold 1.07 million copies in Britain. as of September 2017. The song also reached #1 in Flanders, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand, and #3 in Australia and Sweden.

It’s with great sadness that we hear about the premature passing of fantastic singer Irene Cara Escalera (March 18, 1959 – November 25, 2022).

Like many other greats of the 1980s music and music video scene, she strongly contributed to the definition of some of the greatest years of music in history.

Thank you Irene, your legacy is here to stay, now, may you rest in peace…


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