Lesley Gore has passed away.
The singer, who is behind legendary 60s anthem It’s My Party, died at the age of 68 in Manhattan at the New York University Langone Medical Center on Monday after battling lung cancer.
Her partner of 33 years, jewelry designer Lois Sasson, was by Lesley’s side in her final days and will miss her tremendously.
“She was a wonderful human being — caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian,” Lois told The Associated Press.
Lesley’s anthem It’s My Party was produced by Quincy Jones and the song quickly reached the top of US pop and R&B charts when it was released in April 1963. The tune is considered to be a classic musical representation of existential teenage angst and people across the world know the lyrics, “It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to / Cry if I want to, cry if I want to / You would cry too if it happened to you”, by heart.
This wasn’t Lesley’s only iconic hit in her career though. She is also responsible for feminist anthem You Don’t Own Me, which hit record shelves in December 63. Lesley was only 17 years old when these pivotal songs reached airwaves.
Lesley is also known for her work in the LGBT community. In a 2005 interview with After Ellen, the songstress confirmed she had been openly gay for a long time.
“Well, you know, it’s funny. I just never found it was necessary [to come out publicly] because I really never kept my life private. Those who knew me, those who worked with me were well aware,” Lesley said. “Well, I don’t think I went to lengths [to conceal my sexuality]. I just kind of lived my life naturally and did what I wanted to do.”
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