Fame (Irene Cara song)

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Single by Irene Cara
from the album Fame soundtrack
Released June 1980 (US)
May 1982 (UK)
Recorded 1980
Genre Pop
Length 5:14
Label RSO
Writer(s) Michael Gore
Dean Pitchford[1]
Producer(s) Michael Gore
Certification Gold (US)
Gold (UK)
Irene Cara singles chronology
"Making Love with Me"
"I love you"

"Fame" is a pop song, written by Michael Gore (music) and Dean Pitchford (lyrics) that was released in 1980, and achieved chart success as the theme song to the Fame film and TV series.[1] The song was performed by Irene Cara, who played the role of Coco Hernandez in the original movie. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1980,[1] and the Golden Globe Award for the same. In 2004 it finished at #51 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

The tune 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.


Chart (1980–82) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[2] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[3] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[4] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[5] 3
France (SNEP)[6] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 4
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[8] 1

Chart and sales performance[edit]

"Fame" rose to number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1980. It also reached number one on the Billboard dance chart for one week. The song was not released in the United Kingdom until 1982, thus coinciding with the UK premiere of the Fame television series in the future. It hit number one in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks.[1] It has sold 1,050,000 copies in the UK as of November 2012.[9] The song also reached number one in Flanders, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand, and number three in Sweden.[10][11]

In popular culture[edit]

Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1982 album The Chipmunks Go Hollywood. British group Girls Aloud covered the song in their Chemistry Tour. Singer-songwriter Mree covered the song, which appeared on an episode of Grey's Anatomy.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  3. ^ "Chart Track: Week 3, 1982". Irish Singles Chart.
  4. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Irene Cara search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  5. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Irene Cara – Fame". Singles Top 60.
  6. ^ "Lescharts.com – Irene Cara – Fame" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  7. ^ William Ruhlmann. "Irene Cara | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  8. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Irene Cara – Fame". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  9. ^ Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Irene Cara: Fame". Lescharts. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Search the Charts: Irene Cara". The Irish Charts: All There Is to Know. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
Preceded by
"Happy Talk" by Captain Sensible
UK number-one single
17 July 1982
(for three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Come On Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners