Lesley Gore, the great singer who topped the US charts with her sixties hits, including ‘It’s My Party’ and ‘You Don’t Own Me’, died on Monday aged 68.
Gore died of lung cancer at a New York City hospital.
“She was a wonderful human being – caring, giving, a great feminist, great human, great human being, great humanitarian,” the singer’s partner of 33 years Lois Sasson told the Associated Press.
Gore began her career as a teenager when she was discovered by Quincy Jones who signed her to Mercury Records and produced her first single ‘It’s My Party’. The hit topped the Billboard charts in 1963 before she went on recording tracks including ‘Lollipops and Rainbows’, ‘Sunshine’, ‘She’s A Fool’ and ‘Judy’s Turn To Cry’ which sold over a million copies the same year.
Oscar-nominated ‘Out Here On My Own’, from the 1980 film ‘Fame’, and ‘You Don’t Own Me’ are also among Gore’s greatest successes from her collaboration with Jones. The latter became the ahead-of-its-time feminist anthem as, during the 2012 presidential campaign, the single was turned into an online video announcement demanding reproductive rights for women.
Two years later Gore made a public appearance when she hosted a few episodes of the PBS series ‘In The Life’ after releasing her final album ‘Ever Since’ in 2005.
Despite her success, Gore reportedly opened up about the lack of gender equality in the music industry of the 1960′s in which females “never received the same respect and attention of their male counterparts”.
The music industry has “always been a man’s world,” Gore said in an interview with After Ellen in 2005. “It’s always been a patriarchal situation, and it always puts women, not necessarily down, but certainly on a lower rung.”
In the same interview she thanked Jones, who she repeatedly described as her “greatest mentor” and “a tremendous help” to her.