Lesley Gore, born Lesley Sue Goldstein, was an acclaimed singer and songwriter, celebrated for her iconic 1960s pop hits, which included chart-toppers like “It’s My Party” and “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows.”

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Gore spent her formative years in Tenafly, New Jersey, and attended Dwight School for Girls. At a mere 16 years old, she was discovered by the illustrious music producer Quincy Jones.

In 1963, Gore achieved her maiden and most significant success with "It’s My Party," a single that swiftly earned gold certification, selling over 500,000 copies. That very year, she launched her inaugural album, “I’ll Cry If I Want To,” featuring other beloved tracks like “Judy’s Turn to Cry.” A subsequent album soon followed, housing more major hits, including “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows,” and the empowering anthem “You Don’t Own Me.”

Gore completed her high school education in 1964, making a notable appearance in the concert film “T.A.M.I. Show,” alongside legendary artists such as Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and The Beach Boys. In 1965, she contributed three songs to the film “The Girls on the Beach.”

While at Sarah Lawrence College, Gore delved into the study of literature, ultimately graduating in 1968. By this time, rock music had taken the forefront, and her song sales had diminished.

Following the conclusion of her contract with Mercury Records, she signed with MoWest records. Although she released her first album in five years, it garnered limited success. In 1980, she composed songs for the film “Fame,” including the Academy Award-nominated “Out Here on My Own.”

Gore co-penned the song “My Secret Love” for the 1996 film “Grace of My Heart,” a story centered around a closeted lesbian singer, loosely inspired by her own experiences. Throughout 2003, she took on a recurring hosting role in the LGBTQ public television newsmagazine “In the Life.”

In 2005, Gore publicly shared her identity on “AfterEllen,” revealing her enduring relationship with Lois Sasson, a distinguished jewelry designer, since 1982. While Gore never hid her sexuality, she mentioned that she hadn't widely publicized it due to the music industry's prevailing homophobia.

Over the course of her illustrious career, Gore released 12 albums, composed music for various productions, and made appearances in films, documentaries, and television shows. She is commemorated as both a feminist and a dedicated advocate for LGBTQ rights.

Gore passed away at the age of 68 from lung cancer, just a few months before her union with Sasson. The couple promptly set their wedding date upon the legalization of same-sex marriage, having shared their lives for an extraordinary 33 years.

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