Singer Lesley Gore has died at the age of 68.
TMZ reports that the “It’s My Party” singer died in a New York City hospital after battling cancer.
Lesley Gore made headlines in 1963 — over 50 years ago — with her hit song, “It’s My Party.” Gore was definitely not a one-hit wonder in the music industry. She was able to follow up her major hit with several other hit songs, including “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows,” “You Don’t Own Me,” and “Judy’s Turn to Cry.”
Lesley also composed songs for the 1980 film, Fame, alongside her brother, Michael Gore.
Gore was even nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Original Song” thanks to the success of the Fame theme song, “Out Here On My Own.”
Born in New York City, Lesley Gore was raised in a Jewish family in New Jersey. She was still just a 16-year-old junior at the Dwight School for Girls when her song, “It’s My Party” first became a hit. The success of that classic tune led to a Grammy nomination for Lesley Gore for rock and roll recording.
In addition to being awarded a gold disc, “It’s My Party” also sold more than one million copies.
During an interview with Gary James, Lesley Gore opened up about her overall career — including what it was like to work with Quincy Jones and Klaus Ogerman.
“It was really a triumvirate of creative people… Quincy being kind of the head guy, the guy at the top of the pyramid. Then, perhaps myself down at the lower left corner, and there was a third guy who was very, very prominent in helping us get that sound and he was the arranger, Klaus Ogerman. So, the way we worked it, Klaus and I spent a lot of time together going through material… Then, we would bring Quincy in and go over it again.”
Gore also talked about how, unlike many of her other hit songs, “You Don’t Own Me” is more of a timeless classic that has retained its relevance over the years.
“I felt a greater connection to the lyric than anything else I had recorded before… It felt it was a better song. You take a song like, ‘It’s My Party,’ or ‘Judy’s Turn to Cry’….things almost become dated over the years. ‘You Don’t Own Me’ has stood the test of time.”
Lesley announced publicly that she was a lesbian during a 2005 interview for the PBS television series, In the Life.
Lesley Gore is survived by her longtime partner of 33 years, Lois Sasson, as well as her mother Ronnie, and a brother.
[Image Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images]