'It's My Party' singer-songwriter Lesley Gore dies at 68

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'It's My Party' singer-songwriter Lesley Gore dies at 68
Singer Lesley Gore, who famously hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart with ‘It’s My Party,’ died Monday at the age of 68.
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Lesley Gore Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Lesley Gore Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JUNE 22: Singer Lesley Gore performs the Cousin Brucie's First Annual Palisades Park Reunion presented by SiriusXM on June 22, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Married singers Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson (L and R) w. singers Jeffrey Osborne and Lesley Gore (C) at a party to celebrate the Grammy Awards. (Photo by Robin Platzer/Twin Images/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Singer Leslie Gore w. an unident. man at a party to celebrate the Grammy Awards. (Photo by Robin Platzer/Twin Images/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of Lesley GORE; Lesley Gore performing on stage (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
ALL MY CHILDREN - 1983. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) MARK LAMURA;MELBA MOORE;LESLEY GORE
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Lesley GORE and Quincy JONES; Portrait of Quincy Jones with Lesley Gore (L) (Photo by Echoes/Redferns)
ALL MY CHILDREN - 1983. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) MARK LAMURA;MELBA MOORE;LESLEY GORE
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Lesley Gore Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Lesley Gore Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Lesley Gore Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30: Lesley Gore performs at 'Ponderosa Stomp: She's Got The Power' during the 2011 Lincoln Center Out of Doors at Damrosch Park Bandshell on July 30, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 1: (L-R) Author Amy Tan, singer Lesley Gore and author Stephen King perform as part of the Rock Bottom Remainders at Webster Hall June 1, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Lesley Gore Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Lesley Gore Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
NEW YORK - MARCH 2, 1965: Singers Lesley Gore (center) and Dionne Warwick (right) join guest host Trini Lopez (jacket) and members of the house band The Hullabaloos on 'Hullabaloo' at NBC's Studio 8-H on March 2, 1965, in New York, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 2, 1965: Singer Lesley Gore appears on 'Hullabaloo' at NBC's Studio 8-H on March 2, 1965, in New York, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 2, 1965: Singers Lesley Gore, Trini Lopez, and Dionne Warwick rehearse 'Puff the Magic Dragon' on 'Hullabaloo' at NBC's Studio 8-H on March 2, 1965, in New York, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
4th September 1964: American pop singer Lesley Gore is giving up full time singing so that she can continue her education. 18 year-old Lesley, who sang 'It's My Party, I'll Cry If I Want To' is in London at the start of a British tour, after which she will go straight to university near New York. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Portrait of Lesley Gore, 1963. (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: (AUSTRALIA OUT) Photo of Lesley GORE; Portrait of Lesley Gore (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Lesley GORE; LESLIE GORE (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
Lesley Gore during Fourth Annual Nightlife Awards at Town Hall in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 21: Singer Lesley Gore and Actress Chita Rivera on June 21, 1994 catching a Performance at the Rainbow and Stars Cabaret at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of Lesley GORE; Posed portrait of Lesley Gore (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
CANADA - AUGUST 27: Lesley Gore: Her crowning moment at Grandstand was You Don't Own Me; reviewer says. (Photo by Dick Darrell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) - Singer-songwriter Lesley Gore, who topped the charts in 1963 at age 16 with her epic song of teenage angst, "It's My Party," and followed it up with the hits "Judy's Turn to Cry," and the feminist anthem "You Don't Own Me," died Monday. She was 68.

Gore, a nonsmoker, died of lung cancer at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, according to her partner of 33 years, Lois Sasson.

"She was a wonderful human being - caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian," Sasson, a jewelry designer, told The Associated Press.

Brooklyn-born and New Jersey-raised, Gore was discovered by Quincy Jones as a teenager and signed to Mercury Records. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in English/American literature.

Gore's other hits include "She's A Fool," ''Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows," which Marvin Hamlisch co-wrote, "That's the Way Boys Are" and "Maybe I Know." She co-wrote with her brother, Michael, the Academy Award-nominated "Out Here On My Own" from the film "Fame."

She sang at the 1964 T.A.M.I. Show in Santa Monica, California, alongside future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers like the James Brown and the Rolling Stones. Gore also played Catwoman's sidekick in the cult TV comedy "Batman."

"She was a serious artist that was way ahead of her time," said Ronnie Spector in a statement. "She had a certain sound. But you want to be able to do new things too, and it can be hard on an artist that is so identified with a specific sound. Although she wasn't in a girl group, Lesley was definitely a huge part of that era. But she continued to be creative, and kept looking ahead, and that's how I will remember her."

In a Facebook post, songwriter Neil Sedaka, who attended Gore's Sweet 16 birthday party, shared his thoughts: "She was a great person and a phenomenal talent, who had opened for me on many occasions. She recorded a few of my songs ("Magic Colors" and "Summer Symphony") and was a great songwriter in her own right. I'm glad I had the chance of knowing her."

In the 1990s, Gore co-wrote "My Secret Love" for Allison Anders' film "Grace of My Heart," released in 1996. A couple of years later, she appeared in "Smokey Joe's Cafe" on Broadway. Gore had been working on a stage version of her life with playwright Mark Hampton when she died.

In 2005, she released "Ever Since," her first album in 30 years, but was sure to revisit older hits in front of fans. "If I've learned anything in this business," she told The New York Times that year, "how stupid would it be not to do 'It's My Party' when people come to hear it?"

She officially came out to the public when she hosted several episodes of the PBS series, "In The Life," which dealt with gay and lesbian issues.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Gore turned "You Don't Own Me" into an online video public service announcement demanding reproductive rights which starred Lena Dunham and Tavi Gevinson, among others

In the last few years, she performed at Feinstein's at the Loews Regency in New York and, along with Spector and LaLa Brooks, headlined the "She's Got the Power" concert outdoors at Lincoln Center in 2012.

In addition to Sasson, Gore is survived by her brother and mother, Ronny. Services will be held on Thursday at the Frank E. Campbell funeral home on Madison Avenue.

Lesley Gore Dead at 68; 'It's My Party' Singer-Songwriter Dies from Cancer
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