Singer Lesley Gore has died. She was 68 and had been battling cancer for some time.
Gore first hit it big in 1963 when, at age 16, she was discovered by record producer Quincy Jones. She quickly recorded the sweet but melancholy “It’s My Party,” a single that sold over a million copies and hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Follow-ups included “Judy’s Turn To Cry” and “She’s A Fool,” both of which hit the top 10.
Another of Gore’s best tracks, the thunderous and powerful “You Don’t Own Me,” also sold a million copies.
She also recorded several tracks written by Marvin Hamlisch, including “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows.”
Gore also appeared in two episodes of Batman as Pussycat, one of Catwoman’s henchwomen, and performed on the final episode of The Donna Reed Show in 1966.
Gore continued to tour through the ’80s and ’90s and, with her brother, composed music for the film Fame. Together, they received an Oscar nomination for “Out Here On My Own.” Gore was also reportedly working on a stage version of her life when she died.
Her last record, Ever Since, came out in 2005. While doing publicity for that record, Gore revealed that she was a lesbian and had been with her partner for more than 23 years. They remained together until Gore’s death.