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Lesley Gore, ‘It’s My Party’ Singer-Songwriter, Dies at 68

Singer-songwriter Lesley Gore, who scored a massive hit in 1963 with “It’s My Party,” died Monday. She was 68.

Gore’s partner of 33 years, Lois Sasson, told the Associated Press that she died of cancer at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

Gore was born in Brooklyn and raised in New Jersey. Producer Quincy Jones discovered her when she was a teenager, and she went on to sign with Mercury Records. Gore’s early records were some of Jones’ first big hits.

The singer broke out into the music scene in 1963 with “It’s My Party,” which raced to No. 1 on the charts, was nominated for a Grammy and sold more than 1 million copies. She followed that up with such hits as “That’s the Way Boys Are,” “She’s a Fool,” “Maybe I Know,” “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows” and “You Don’t Own Me,” which sold more than 1 million copies as well and landed her a No. 2 spot on the charts.

Gore was nominated for an Oscar, along with her brother Michael, for co-writing “Out Here on My Own” from 1980’s “Fame.” Her other film work includes co-writing “My Secret Love” for Allison Anders’ 1996 film “Grace of My Heart.”

She also appeared on Broadway, having a role in “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” in the late ’90s.

Her most recent album, her first in 30 years, came in 2005 with “Ever Since.” Near the end of her life, Gore had been working on a stage adaptation of her life.

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

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