Singer-songwriter Lesley Gore topped the charts in 1963 when she was just a teenager with the hit song, "It's My Party." She later came out publicly in 2004 when she hosted several episodes of the PBS series, In The Life, which addressed gay and lesbian issues. She died of lung cancer Monday, Feb. 16, at the age of 68.
"She was a wonderful human being -- caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian," her partner Lois Sasson told the Associated Press. Sasson, a jewelry designer, and Gore had been together for 33 years.
Gore was discovered by Quincy Jones as a teenager and signed to Mercury Records.
Not only did she also write several other hits, such as the feminist anthem "You Don't Own Me" and the Academy Award-nominated "Out Here On My Own" from the film Fame (with her brother Michael), Gore also played Catwoman's sidekick, Pussycat, on the 1960s cult TV show, Batman.
Songwriter Neil Sedaka, who attended Gore's 16th birthday party, shared his thoughts in a Facebook post:
"She was a great person and a phenomenal talent, who had opened for me on many occasions. She recorded a few of my songs ("Magic Colors" and "Summer Symphony") and was a great songwriter in her own right. I'm glad I had the chance of knowing her."