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"Fame" is a pop song, written by Michael Gore (music) and Dean Pitchford (lyrics)[1] and 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.

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)
ReleasedJune 1980
GenrePop, post-disco
Length3:48 (7")
5:14 (12"/album)
Producer(s)Michael Gore
Irene Cara singles chronology
"Out Here on My Own"



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 songEdit

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 certificationsEdit

"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 over sold 1.07 million copies in the UK as of September 2017.[5] The song also reached number one in Flanders, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand, and number three in Australia and Sweden.

In popular cultureEdit

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 advert with Skeletor and He-Man.[27]

The song also appears on the dance-party game Just Dance, covered by The Girly Team.

See alsoEdit


  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. November 13, 1982. pp. 8–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  5. ^ a b Copsey, Rob (September 19, 2017). "The UK's Official Chart 'millionaires' revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  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. ^ " – Irene Cara – Fame" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  8. ^ "RPM 100 Singles". RPM. Vol. 34 no. 4. November 22, 1980. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  9. ^ " – 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. ^ " – Irene Cara – Fame" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  13. ^ " – Irene Cara – Fame". Top 40 Singles.
  14. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  15. ^ " – Irene Cara – Fame". Singles Top 100.
  16. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ "Irene Cara Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Irene Cara Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Cash Box Top 100". Cash Box. September 13, 1980. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015.
  20. ^ "Pop Singles". Billboard ("Billboard Talent in Action: Year End Charts" supplement). December 20, 1980. p. TIA-10.
  21. ^ "The Cash Box Year-End Charts: 1980". Cash Box. December 27, 1980. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012.
  22. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1982". Recorded Music NZ.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1983". Dutch Charts (Hung Medien).
  25. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Irene Cara – Fame". Music Canada.
  26. ^ "British single certifications – Irene Cara – Fame". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Fame in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  27. ^ Degun, Gurjit (March 23, 2017). "Moneysupermarket is back with a new ad - and it's zanier than ever". Campaign. Retrieved June 5, 2018.