She was just 16 when she recorded her first hit “It’s my Party (and I’ll Cry if I Want To)” in 1963 and that was followed by a series of hits"Judy's Turn to Cry", "She's a Fool", the anthemic "You Don't Own Me," (that sat at No. 2 behind the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand"), "That's the Way Boys Are", "Maybe I Know" and Marvin Hamlisch's first hit composition, "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows". Her record producer from 1963 to 1965 was Quincy Jones.

Lesley Gore really was the soundtrack of many people’s lives. She kept working and performing throughout her life, including writing for the soundtrack of “Fame” and releasing, in 2005, “Ever Since” (her first album of new material in 29 years that was favourably reviewed by The New York Times and Rolling Stone, among others. In 2004 she began hosting a show on PBS on Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues and in 2005 stated in an interview that she was gay. She leaves behind her partner of 33 years, jewellery designer Lois Sasson.

Lesley Gore, a non-smoker, died of lung cancer in New York on February 16, 2015.