Irene Cara is best known as a singer of movie themes, though she worked as an actress since childhood. Raised in New York City, she appeared on Broadway in 1967 in the musical Maggie Flynn at age eight and can be heard on the cast album for the show The Me Nobody Knows. From the age of 16, she was turning up on television and in films, including a part in the TV mini-series Roots 2 in 1979. In 1980, she was catapulted into stardom and a singing career by her appearance in the film Fame, for which she sang the title song, an Oscar-winning Top Ten hit. Also from the film was her Top 40 hit "Out Here on My Own." In 1983, she topped the charts with "Flashdance...What a Feelin'" from the movie Flashdance, a song she co-wrote that won another Oscar, and Cara won a couple of Grammys for her contributions to the soundtrack. Her What a Feelin' album included the hits "Why Me?" and "Breakdance," and she also made the Top 40 with a third movie theme, "The Dream (Hold on to Your Dream)," from DC Cab.