We now know the cause of death for singer/actress Irene Cara, who passed away November 25 at the age of 63.

According to Yahoo Entertainment, the Pinellas County, Florida, medical examiner has ruled the Fame star died of natural causes, blaming high cholesterol and hypertension. The report notes she suffered from cholesterol/plaque buildup in the arteries and hypertensive cardiovascular disease due to high blood pressure. Diabetes also contributed to her condition. 


After landing roles in Roots: The Next Generations and the 1976 cult film Sparkle, Cara got her big break when she was cast as Coco Hernandez in the 1980 film Fame. The role had her singing two of the movie’s signature songs, the title track, which went on to win the Oscar for Best Original Song, and “Out Here On My Own,” which was also nominated for an Oscar.

She also co-wrote “Flashdance…What a Feeling,” the theme song for the movie Flashdance, which went to number one on the Hot 100. It won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Original song, as well as the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

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