She sang the line that everybody knows, the one everybody sometimes feels about life: “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.” Lesley Gore, who recorded that great equalizer of teenage angst “It’s My Party” in 1963, died in New York on February 16. The cause was cancer. Gore was 68.
Gore was discovered by music legend Quincy Jones. She had other hits with “She’s A Fool”, “That’s the Way Boys Are” and others. But Gore could boast the rare accomplishment of putting two hits into the cultural pantheon. Her powerful “You Don’t Own Me” became first a feminist anthem and later simply an anthem of independence for people in various situations. Gore studied literature at Sarah Lawrence College. Here’s Lesley Gore singing ‘It’s My Party’ Live in 1964.