The legendary singer-songwriter, famous for “Cry If I Want To” and “You Don’t Own Me,” passed away Monday.
Singer Lesley Gore, famous for the hit songs “It’s My Party” and “You Don’t Own Me,” passed away from lung cancer at the age of 68 on Monday.
“She was a wonderful human being – caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian,” Lois Sasson, her partner of 33 years, told the AP.
Years ahead of her time, let this woman be your source of inspiration today (and all days, really):
1. When she was only 16-years-old she reminded us that if it’s your party, you can damn well cry if you want to:
2. And that message continues to inspire today:
3. She rallied women to tell the men in their lives: You don’t own me.
“It was probably the first song that talked to guys like that and the first time girls had this opportunity to go, `If she’s saying it, maybe it’s OK for me to think this way,’” Gore said of the song in 1994.
4. Which would create this glorious moment in history:
5. Oh, and this one too:
The 2012 PSA video features Miranda July, Sia, Lena Dunham, and countless other female celebs lip-syncing to “You Don’t Own Me” in a campaign to bring awareness to women’s rights in the upcoming presidential election.
7. Taking classes at Sarah Lawrence College, she valued her education and put it before her career:
“Well, I basically did not go on tour unless it was a holiday or summer. I pretty much tried to maintain as normal an educational schedule as possible. So there were times I would work on the weekends but maybe I would have to skip a Friday class to get there. But I stayed in school most of the week.” – 2005 Interview
8. She was all about girl power:
“They treat women like human beings, and they were doing that back then. It felt really good to…to feel good being a woman, and Sarah Lawrence had a lot to do with helping me feel that way,” Gore said of her time at Sarah Lawrence University.
9. Gore constantly strived to live an open and honest life:
“I just kind of lived my life naturally and did what I wanted to do. I didn’t avoid anything, I didn’t put it in anybody’s face. Times were very different then, so, you know, I just tried to live as normally as humanly possible. But as truthfully as humanly possible.” – 2005 Interview
10. She later wouldn’t hesitate to call out the music industry on its homophobic attitude:
12. She appeared as Catwoman’s sidekick, the Pink Pussycat, on the popular Batman television series in 1967:
13. She saw the importance of women having strong female mentors in their lives:
“I had many people that I idolized who were singers like Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington, but these weren’t exactly women I could call up every day and say, Hey, how’s it going, you know?
So I didn’t have a woman mentor until many years later—many, many years later when I became friendly with Bella Abzug. She kind of mentored me as to what’s important for women and where to put my energies in terms of gay women, and what I could best do to help women in our community and children. And that’s pretty much what I live by now, pretty much where I like to concentrate my efforts. You can only bite off so much, so you gotta know what you want to do” – 2005 interview