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Lesley Gore Dies: Sang 'It's My Party' and 'You Don't Own Me'

Image: Lesley Gore Dies: Sang 'It's My Party' and 'You Don't Own Me'
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By    |   Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015 09:34 AM

Lesley Gore, the 1960s teenage singing idol best known for hits like "It's My Party" and "You Don't Own Me," died Monday. She was 68.

Lois Sasson, her partner of 33 years, told the New York Times that Gore died of lung cancer at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Gore was 17 when her catchy pop hit "It's My Party," produced by Quincy Jones, sailed to the top of the pop charts in 1963, according to People magazine.

"'It's My Party" gave voice to millions of hormonal, lovesick teenage girls, who, until the early 60s, had few female pop-culture idols to look up to or identify with," wrote Sheila Burgel of The Guardian. "The song may have been written and produced by men, but Lesley was speaking directly to the female experience, the fluctuating feelings of euphoria and devastation, captured so perfectly in the music's message and melody."

Gore told The Guardian that her favorite song was "You Don't Own Me," a tune written by John Madara and David White, and reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"It gave me the gravitas I needed to get beyond doing the pop song," said Gore.

Gore told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in 2010 as she grew older, the more attached she became to the song.

"When I heard it for the first time, I thought it had an important humanist quality," said Gore. "As I got older, feminism became more a part of my life and more a part of our whole awareness, and I could see why people would use it as a feminist anthem. I don't care what age you are – whether you're 16 or 116 – there's nothing more wonderful than standing on the stage and shaking your finger and singing, 'Don't tell me what to do.'"

In 1983, Gore and her brother Michael were nominated for an Academy Award for the best movie song for "Out Here On My Own" from the Movie "Fame," which was sung by Irene Cara, noted Playbill.com.

She also sang and appeared on the "Batman" television series as a favor to an uncle who was a producer on the show and who created the role of Pink Pussycat for her, according to the Star-Tribune.

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Lesley Gore, the 1960s teenage singing idol best known for hits like "It's My Party" and "You Don't Own Me," died Monday. She was 68.
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2015-34-17
Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015 09:34 AM
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