Lesley Gore (born name: Lesley Sue Goldstein), who sang the feminist anthem “You Don’t Own Me” and let us know that it’s okay to get emotional at your own party after seeing your piece leave with some down river skank named Judy, died today. She was only 68.
Lesley’s partner of 33 years, jewelry designer Lois Sassoon, tells The Associated Press that she died of cancer at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Lois said this in a statement she gave to AP:
“She was a wonderful human being — caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian.”
Lesley was still in high school in New Jersey when “It’s My Party” came out and sold over a million copies. After “It’s My Party” hit #1, Lesley put out hit after hit including “You Don’t Own Me,” the sequel to “It’s My Party” called “Judy’s Turn To Cry,” “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows,” “She’s A Fool” and “That’s The Way Boys Are.” As she churned out the hits, Lesley finished high school and went to Sarah Lawrence where she majored in English and American literature. In the 80s, she wrote songs for the “Fame” soundtrack. During her career, she was nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy.
She publicly came out in 2003 and hosted episodes of the PBS LGBT news show In The Life. AP says that Lesley was working on a musical about her life before she died.
If you’ve watched a lot of episodes of the old Batman TV show, then you also know Lesley Gore as Pussycat, Catwoman’s hot ginger sidekick who tried to get on Robin:
Rest in peace, Lesley. You are now in heaven bathing in Judy’s tears.