Flashdance…What A Feeling – Irene Cara | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1 for 6 weeks); 1983

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

In June of 1983 the U.S. Hot 100 pop chart contained more foreign than American made records for the first time ever. Sandwiched between Englishman David Bowie’s #1 Let’s Dance and Every Breath You Take, by fellow countrymen The Police, sat New York-born Irene Cara.

Three years earlier Irene’s version of Fame had reached #4 and been nominated for an Academy Award. When Flashdance, starring Jennifer Beals, came around, Irene was tagged to sing the title song. Irene and Keith Forsey collaborated on the lyrics with Irene suggesting the idea of talking about the feeling of dance, and Keith contributing the metaphor of “dancing for my life.” Famous record producer Giorgio Moroder (Donna Summer) provided his magic touch, helping to propel Flashdance to #1. Irene also won an Oscar for Best Song; a fairytale ending from a movie with a very American storyline about individual triumph.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Giorgio Moroder

Lyrics Written by:

  • Keith Forsey
  • Irene Cara


  • “Flashdance…What A Feeling” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1984
  • “Flashdance…What A Feeling” won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song in 1984
  • “Flashdance…What A Feeling” was nominated for Best Original Song at the BAFTA Film Awards in 1984
  • “Flashdance…What A Feeling” won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1984