‘It’s My Party’ Singer Lesley Gore Dies at 68

by | PopCrush
Lesley Gore
Jemal Countess, Getty Images

Legendary singer-songwriter, Lesley Gore, died of lung cancer at the age of 68. Known for her huge hits “It’s My Party,” “You Don’t Own Me” and more, Lesley was a prolific singer, songwriter, actress and activist.

Gore was first discovered by Quincy Jones and was signed to Mercury Records when she was a teenager. She recorded “It’s My Party” when she was 16-years-old, and it wound up being the first of many in a catalogue of massive hits attributed to Gore. Along with Lena Dunham and Tavi Gevinson, Gore’s protofeminst anthem, “You Don’t Own Me,” was later turned into a public service announcement during the 2012 presidential election in an attempt to bring attention to women’s rights.

Gore eventually came out as gay while hosting “In The Life,” a PBS series that dealt with issues within the gay and lesbian community. While she said she never hid her sexuality, she was not as open about it, either. She said in an interview (quote via BBC), “Times were very different then, so, you know, I just tried to live as normally as humanly possible. But as truthfully as humanly possible. There was very little acceptance of gay people. I think the record industry, by and large what’s left of it, is still totally homophobic.”

She was also critical of the music industry as “a man’s world,” saying to AfterEllen, “It’s always been a patriarchal situation, and it always puts women, not necessarily down, but certainly on a lower rung.”

Gore’s partner of 33 years, Lois Sasson, said in a statement to AP (quote via BBC), “She was a wonderful human being – caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian.”

Stars We Lost in 2014

Next: Darren Shalavi of 'Mortal Kombat' Dies