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Lesley Gore, 'It's My Party' singer, dies

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Lesley Gore, a singer best known for her 1960s hit “It’s My Party,” has died of cancer, the Associated Press reports. She was 68.

Gore released “It’s My Party,” a pop track featuring oft-quoted lyrics like “It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to,” in 1963 at the age of 16. The song, produced by Quincy Jones, topped the charts and kicked off what became a successful singing career for Gore, who went on to release “That’s the Way Boys Are,” “Maybe I Know,” and “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows.”

One of Gore’s other hits got some additional airtime in October, when “You Don’t Own Me” was used in a PSA encouraging women to vote in the midterm elections. Celebrities including Lena Dunham and Natasha Lyonne mouthed along to the song in the video, which also featured Gore herself: “I recorded ‘You Don’t Own Me’ in 1964. It’s hard for me to believe, but we’re still fighting for the same things we were then,” she said. “Yes, ladies, we’ve got to come together, get out there and vote, and protect our bodies. They’re ours.”

Gore also composed the soundtrack for 1980’s Fame and was honored with both Grammy and Oscar nominations for her work. She released two albums after that, 1982’s The Canvas Can Do Miracles and 2005’s Ever Since.