Lesley Gore the singer-songwriter behind ’60s hits like ‘It’s My Party’ and ‘Judy’s Turn To Cry’, has died in hospital aged 68 after a battle with lung cancer.
“She was a wonderful human being – caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian,” Gore’s partner Lois Sasson said.
Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, Gore was discovered by Quincy Jones as a teenager and signed to Mercury Records. She topped the US charts when she was just 16 with ‘It’s My Party’ in 1963. Her other hits included feminist anthem ‘You Don’t Own Me’ and the Oscar-nominated ‘Out Here On My Own’ from the film Fame.
Tributes have been pouring in for the singer. Mark Ronson called her “an incredible talent and trailblazer”, and Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale wrote: “Brilliant songs #lesleygore so perfectly sung, thank you. #YouDontOwnMe was the one I most identified with.”
Singer Neil Sedaka wrote on Facebook: “I am saddened to hear about the loss of my friend Lesley Gore. I fondly remember attending her Sweet Sixteen party in New Jersey. She was a great person and a phenomenal talent, who had opened for me on many occasions.”
this Lesley Gore performance from T.A.M.I is as good as anything. she was an incredible talent and a trailblazer x https://t.co/ldCWtRlZby
— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) February 17, 2015
— annie nightingale (@aanightingale) February 16, 2015
— Steve Anderson (@MrSteveAnderson) February 17, 2015
During the 2012 US presidential campaign, Gore turned ‘You Don’t Own Me’ into an online video public service announcement that demanded reproductive rights for women. It starred Girls writer Lena Dunham and blogger Tavi Gevinson, among others.
Gore had been working on a stage version of her life with playwright Mark Wright when she died. She released her last album ‘Ever Since’ in 2005.