Lesley Gore: She Sang ‘It’s My Party’

If ever a song perfectly captured teenage betrayal, it was “It’s My Party” sung by Lesley Gore. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the spring of 1963.

Gore as a guest star on

Gore, who passed away on Feb. 16 at age 68 in New York City, recorded the song at age 16, when she was still a high school junior in New Jersey. It became the biggest hit in a multifaceted career that included several other hit singles, acting roles in TV and on Broadway, and songwriting.

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Here are some facts about the performer and her signature hit.

  • Gore didn’t start singing until age 16 but was signed by Mercury Records just a few weeks after she started taking voice lessons.
  • In the studio, Gore’s producer Quincy Jones often double-tracked her vocals, so that she essentially sang what a 1965 Life magazine profile called “one-girl duets.”
  • Gore picked out “It’s My Party” from an assortment of 200 demos that Jones played for her in the den of her parents’ home.
  • From her six-figure earnings for “It’s My Party,” the teenage Gore got a convertible and $30 a week, the rest going into a trust fund.
  • The New York Times once compared the “husky” quality of her vocals to the voice of Bing Crosby.
  • Gore and her brother Michael earned an Oscar nomination for writing “Out Here on My Own” from the 1980 movie Fame.
  • She cowrote the song “My Secret Love” for the 1996 film Grace of My Heart, which featured a closeted gay character (portrayed by Bridget Fonda) who was based upon her.


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Here is Gore performing “It’s My Party” in 1965.

Photo: Wikimedia

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