Pop music icon Lesley Gore died of lung cancer Monday morning in her native New York. She was 68. She is survived by her partner of three decades, Lois Sassoon, a jewelry designer.
"She was a wonderful human being — caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian," Sasson told the Associated Press.
Gore was just a teenager when she recorded the sassy breakup song "It's My Party." The 1963 tune turned her into an overnight success. She went on to score more hits with a sequel song, "Judy's Turn To Cry," as well as the early feminist anthem "You Don't Own Me."
Even if she hadn't recorded a handful of timeless pop classics, Gore left her indelible thumbprint on American pop music in other ways. She was one of the earliest pop performers to collaborate with producer Quincy Jones, and together they sold over four-million records. She was also the first to record a hit song ("Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows") for composer Marvin Hamlisch.
Gore also appeared twice on the campy 1960s television series Batman as Pussycat, one of Catwoman's minions.
Later in life, Gore composed music for the 1980 film Fame, and was nominated for an Academy Award for the song "Out Here On My Own," co-written with her brother Michael.
Beginning in 2004, she hosted several episodes of the PBS series In The Life, which explored LGBT issues.