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‘It’s My Party’ singer Lesley Gore dies

Molly Rose Pike February 17, 2015
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Out lesbian 1960’s singer Lesley Gore has died aged 68.

Gore, known for her hit ‘It’s My Party’, has died in New York, her partner has confirmed.

She died of lung cancer in New York where she had been living with her partner of 33 years Lois Sasson.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1946, Gore was raised in New Jersey. She was still in school when her first song became a number one hit.

The singer was perhaps best known for her song ‘It’s My Party’, released in 1963. The song has been covered by a number of artists including Amy Winehouse.

She came out after her career heyday when she hosted several episodes of the US show In The Life, which dealt with lesbian and gay issues.

In a 2005 interview with AfterEllen, she said of the speculation over her sexuality: “I didn’t know until I was in my twenties, so if they knew it, they knew it before I did. You know, maybe someone did think that. I don’t know, but I certainly didn’t know it until I was in my twenties.”

Gore also composed songs for the film Fame, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award.

She is hailed as a feminist hero for her song You Don’t Own me, released in 1963 when she was just seventeen. The song was later used by Gore and other celebrities to campaign for women’s reproductive rights in the 2012 presidential campaign.

Gore called You Don’t Own Me her signature song. She told Digital Interviews she believed it was her strongest work.

She said: “After some 40 years, I still close my show with that song because I can’t find anything stronger. It’s a song that just kind of grows every time you do it.”

In 2005 she released a comeback album Ever Since which was her first in 30 years. She remained critical of the music industry until the end, believing it was homophobic.

She said: “There were 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 working on play about her life with playwright Mark Hampton before she died. Her funeral will be held on Thursday.

Related topics: 1960s, feminism, lesbian, Lesley Gore, Music, obituary, US

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