Fame (Irene Cara song)

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Fame Single Cover Art.jpg
Artwork for Dutch and Belgian releases
Single by Irene Cara
from the album Fame soundtrack
B-side "Never Alone" (performed by the Contemporary Gospel Chorus, The High School of Music and Art)
Released June 1980
Recorded 1979
Genre Pop, post-disco
  • 3:48 (7" version)
  • 5:14 (12" version)
Label RSO
Producer(s) Michael Gore
Irene Cara singles chronology
"Out Here on My Own"
"Out Here on My Own"

"Fame" is a pop song, written by Michael Gore (music) and Dean Pitchford (lyrics),[1] released in 1980 that 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 the same year. In 2004 it finished at number 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 Grammy nominations for Best New Female Artist and Best New Pop Artist.[2] The movie became an "overnight sensation". The song won an Oscar for best film theme song in 1981. In July 1982 it topped the British charts. The movie was adapted into a TV series and stage show which toured Europe.[3]

Fame theme song[edit]

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.

Charts and certifications[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.[4] The song was rereleased in the United Kingdom in 1982 following the airing of the Fame television series. It hit number one in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks.[1] It has sold 1.05 million copies in the UK as of June 2013.[5] The song also reached number one in Flanders, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand, and number three in Australia and Sweden.

In popular culture[edit]

Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1982 album The Chipmunks Go Hollywood. The British group Girls Aloud covered the song in their 2006 Chemistry Tour. Hayden Panettiere covered the song in a Grammy's promo for the ABC/CMT series, Nashville. And singer-songwriter Mree covered the song in 2014, which then was featured on an episode of the television show, Grey's Anatomy. It was also featured in a 2017 Moneysupermarket.com advert with Skeletor and He-Man.

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. ^ McCann, Bob (December 8, 2009). Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television. McFarland. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7864-5804-2. 
  3. ^ Davis, Sharon (January 6, 2012). 80s Chart-Toppers: Every Chart-Topper Tells a Story. Random House. ISBN 978-1-78057-411-0. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  4. ^ 'Fame' means success for BBC record label. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 13 November 1982. pp. 8–. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  5. ^ a b Lane, Dan (June 27, 2013). "Get Lucky becomes one of the UK's biggest selling singles of all-time!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 24, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, New South Wales: Australian Chart Book. p. 55. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  7. ^ "Ultratop.be – Irene Cara – Fame" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  8. ^ "RPM 100 Singles". RPM. Vol. 34 no. 4. November 22, 1980. Retrieved April 24, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Lescharts.com – Irene Cara – Fame" (in French). Les classement single.
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Fame". Irish Singles Chart.
  11. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 8, 1983" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  12. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Irene Cara – Fame" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  13. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Irene Cara – Fame". Top 40 Singles.
  14. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Irene Cara – Fame". Singles Top 100.
  15. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  16. ^ "Irene Cara Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  17. ^ "Irene Cara Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Cash Box Top 100". Cash Box. September 13, 1980. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Pop Singles". Billboard ("Billboard Talent in Action: Year End Charts" supplement). December 20, 1980. p. TIA-10. 
  20. ^ "The Cash Box Year-End Charts: 1980". Cash Box. December 27, 1980. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1982". Recorded Music NZ. 
  22. ^ Rees, Dafydd; Lazell, Barry; Jones, Alan (1983). "The Top 100 UK Singles". Chart File Volume 2. London, England: Virgin Books. pp. 80–81. ISBN 0-907080-73-1. 
  23. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1983". Dutch Charts (Hung Medien). 
  24. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Irene Cara – Fame". Music Canada. 
  25. ^ "British single certifications – Irene Cara – Fame". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Fame in the search field and then press Enter.
Preceded by
"Happy Talk" by Captain Sensible
UK number-one single
July 17, 1982
(for three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Come On Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners