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Lesley Sue Gore (born Lesley Sue Goldstein; May 2, 1946 – February 16, 2015) was an American singer, songwriter, actress and activist. At the age of 16, in 1963, she recorded the pop hit "It's My Party", and followed it up with other hits including "Judy's Turn to Cry" and "You Don't Own Me".Read More...
Gore also worked as an actress and composed songs with her brother Michael Gore for the 1980 film Fame, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. She was active until 2014, and hosted an LGBT-oriented public television show, In the Life, on American TV in the 2000s.
Raised in Tenafly, New Jersey to Jewish parents, Gore was discovered as a teenager. Her first single in 1963 at age 16 was the #1 hit It's My Party still perhaps her best known recording, which also made #9 in Britain. It was followed by others, including Judy's Turn to Cry (the sequel to "It's My Party"), She's a Fool, the proto-feminist You Don't Own Me, and Maybe I Know. Her record producer was Quincy Jones, who would later become one of the most famous producers in American music.
Instead of accepting the television and movie contracts that came her way, Gore chose to attend Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. This limited her public career to weekends and summer vacations and undoubtedly hurt her career. Nevertheless, throughout the mid-1960's, Gore continued to be the one of the most popular female singers in the United States and Canada.
By the late 1960s, though, her fame lessened as popular tastes evolved towards a harder-edged, psychedelic sound. Her last major hit was "California Nights," (1967) which she performed on an episode of the Batman TV series in which she guest-starred as one of Catwoman's minions. Afterwards, she continued to stay busy in the music industry, performed at concerts and in cabarets and achieved noted success as a professional songwriter, including composing songs for the soundtrack of the 1980 film, Fame. She received an Academy Award nomination for "Out Here on My Own," written with her brother Michael.
Gore continued to be busy, playing concerts, appearing on television, and recently (2005) recording a self-produced and critically-acclaimed CD, "Ever Since." She is also known for tackling a variety of musical genres, including a credible take on AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap."
Although Gore did not officially come out until 2005, her lesbianism was not exactly a secret. The 1996 film Grace of My Heart featured a character (played by Bridget Fonda) whose industry struggles over her sexual orientation were similar to Gore's. Beginning in 2004 Gore could be seen hosting the PBS series In the Life, which focused on GLBT issues.
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- LyricsIt's my party, and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you
Nobody knows where my Johnny has gone
But Judy left the same time
- LyricsYou don't own me
I'm not just one of your many toys
You don't own me
Don't say I can't go with other boys
And don't tell me what to do
- LyricsSunshine, lollipops and rainbows everything that's wonderful
Is what I feel a-when we're together, brighter than a lucky penny
When you're near the raindrops disappears, dear
And I feel so fine just to know that you are mine
My life is sunshine, lollipops and rainbows
- Lyrics'Cause now it's Judy's turn to cry
Judy's turn to cry
Judy's turn to cry
'Cause Johnny's come back
- LyricsWhen I'm with my guy and he watches all the pretty girls go by
And I feel so hurt deep inside, I wish that I could die
Not a word do I say
I just look the other way
'Cause that's the way boys are
- Maybe I Know - 54,101 plays
- She's A Fool - 35,182 plays
- It's My Party - Single Version - 27,982 plays
- Look Of Love - 23,125 plays
- California Nights - 19,515 plays