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American Singer Songwriter Lesley Gore Dead At 68: 'It's My Party' Star Died Of Cancer At New York Presbyterian Hospital [PHOTO]

By Marisa Lewis | February 17, 2015 04:50 PM EST

This past Monday, American singer-songwriter Lesley Gore died of cancer at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. She was 68 years old. According to the Independent, Gore was best known for her hit song "It's My Party," though she also acted and wrote songs for multiple movies.

Gore rose to fame at an early age. She was discovered by Quincy Jones as a teenager, and then signed to Mercury Records. "It's My Party" became a hit when she was just 17 years old, and she went on to sing "Judy's Turn To Cry" and the feminist anthem "You Don't Own Me" with great success.

Some of the films Gore wrote music for include "Fame" (1980) and "Grace of My Heart" (1996).  She eventually turned her career towards acting, and played Catwoman's sidekick in the cult TV comedy "Batman." She then took a break from the entertainment industry until 2005, when she released her album "Ever Since." It was her first album in 30 years.

The Daily Mail reports that Lois Sasson - who was Gore's partner of 33 years - called Gore a "wonderful human being." She continued, "[She was] caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian." Family friend Blake Morgan also praised Gore, stating, "We loved her and we are very sad. She was an incredibly powerful, incredibly beautiful talent."

Gore officially came out as lesbian in 2005 when she hosted several episodes of the PBS series, 'In the Life,' which dealt with gay and lesbian issues. According to CNN, she never actually tried to hide her sexuality. She stated, "I just never found it was necessary because I really never kept my life private...

Those who knew me, those who worked with me, were well aware. Times were very different then, so, you know, I just tried to live as normally as humanly possible. But as truthfully as humanly possible."

She always made a point of standing up for women's rights, and publicly encouraged women to vote in 2012. She wrote on her Facebook page, "It's hard for me to believe but we're still fighting for the same things we were then. Yes, ladies, we've got to come together and get out there and vote and protect our bodies. They're ours. Please vote."

In addition to Sasson, Gore is survived by her brother and mother, Ronnie.

Tagged :  Lesley Gore, death

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