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Lesley Gore

Lesley GoreAKA Lesley Sue Goldstein

Born: 2-May-1946
Birthplace: New York City
Died: 16-Feb-2015
Location of death: Manhattan, NY
Cause of death: Cancer - Lung

Gender: Female
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Lesbian [1]
Occupation: Singer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: It's My Party

Still in her last year at prep school, Lesley Gore came to the attention of producer Quincy Jones while singing at a Manhattan hotel. Jones was impressed enough to sign her to Mercury Records; the result was the 1963 single It's My Party, which climbed to the top of the U.S. charts and crossed the million-sales mark. Gore was only 16 at the time.

A series of high-charting singles followed -- including Judy's Turn to Cry (in which the protagonist of It's My Party gets her two-timing man back) and the more independent-minded You Don't Own Me -- along with several appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. Gore continued with her college studies concurrently with her music career and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1968, the year after her last charting single. As her popularity began to wane, Gore ventured into acting: working on the stage in musical theater, performing in teenage screen-fare like Girls on the Beach (1965), and even appearing as Catwoman's assistant on the Batman television series.

Throughout the 1970s Lesley Gore worked to revive her popularity with little success, releasing badly-promoted records on both the Crew label and the MoWest subsidiary of Motown. A 1976 reunion with Quincy Jones, Love Me By Name made some headway in Britain, but failed to catch on in the States.

A change in her fortunes -- at least on the songwriting front -- came in 1980 when Gore received an Oscar nomination for the song Out Here On My Own, co-written with her brother Michael for the soundtrack of the film Fame. In 1999, she realized a life-long dream to appear on Broadway when she starred in the musical Smokey Joe's Cafe. She died in 2015.

[1] "I have a partner of 23 years and I have a cocker spaniel who turned two -- what's today? -- she turned two on Friday, June 4th. Little Billie, named after Billie Holiday, one of my favorite singers. And I thought, you know, a little gender confusion makes a better person. A little adversity in life at an early age. Itís character building." (After Ellen, 22 June 2005)

Father: Leo Gore
Mother: Ronny
Brother: Michael Gore (composer)
Girlfriend: Lois Sasson (long term relationship, together from about 1983 until her death)

    University: Sarah Lawrence College

    Risk Factors: Lung Cancer

    Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones (3-Oct-1990) · Herself
    Ski Party (30-Jun-1965) · Herself
    The Girls on the Beach (12-May-1965) · Herself
    The T.A.M.I. Show (29-Dec-1964) · Herself

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