Lesley Gore, the pop singer best known for her 1963 smash hit “It’s My Party,” died Monday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital after a struggle with lung cancer, according to Lois Sasson, Gore’s partner of 33 years. Gore, a non-smoker, was 68.
Gore was only sixteen years old when she was signed to Mercury Records by another music legend, producer Quincy Jones. Released in 1963, “It’s My Party” went on to Number 1 on the Billboard charts and eventually went Platinum, marking the first hit record not only for Gore, but for Jones himself. The collaboration led to two more Platinum hits during the 1960s, “Judy’s Turn to Cry” and “You Don’t Own Me.”
While mostly remembered for her string of hit singles during the 1960s, Gore continued her career as a songwriter and recording artist in the successive decades, releasing a total of 12 studio albums and 6 compilations. She also received an Oscar nomination for her song “Out Here On My Own,” co-written with her brother Michael Gore for the film Fame, and even appeared on the Batman television series as one of Catwoman’s cronies. Gore’s last original album Ever Since was released in 2005.
“She was a wonderful human being,” Gore’s partner, Lois Sasson, said in a statement to the Associated Press. “Caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian.”