On July 7, 1979, an unknown, 16-year-old French Canadian female vocalist named France Joli performed her new single Come To Me for the first time before a throng of 5,000 on Fire Island at a benefit now infamously known as Beach ’79.
Joli left the stage a star and became a media darling who appeared in all the popular publications and on all the hot TV shows of the day. Come To Me became a smash hit that sold 3 million copies globally, rose to number one on disco charts around the world, and reached number 15 on Billboard magazine’s pop chart. Befitting this fairytale, Joli portrayed Cinderella in the 1980 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Throughout 2014, Joli celebrated the 35th anniversary of that incredible debut. She still performs Come To Me and subsequent hits such as Gonna Get Over You, The Heart to Break the Heart, and Feel Like Dancing on the dance music circuit throughout the world over. She draws a crowd at every performance. Even those of a younger generation—who may not know her by name—realize they’re fans of Come To Me once they hear Joli’s first few bars.
In 2013, Joli made her Off-Broadway debut in Anthony J. Wilkinson’s “My Big Gay Italian Wedding” at St. Luke’s Theater in January. She’s returned for a sophomore cameo performance, and now also occasionally appears in the Off-Broadway sequel, “My Big Gay Italian Funeral.”
She has been featured that year in James Arena’s best-seller “First Legends of Disco” (for which she also wrote the Foreword).
Joli’s recent live performance schedule has included stops in Mexico City, New York, New Orleans, Florida, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs, California, where she performed at “Evening Under the Stars with the First Ladies of Disco,” a historic benefit that united 12 disco greats on one stage for the first time ever.
The new Broadway musical Disaster! at the Nederlander Theatre features Come To Me as a second-act show-stopper. On April 3, 2016, Joli made her Broadway “debut” when she sang the song on stage with the cast at the end of that night’s performance as part of a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
For 2016, Joli’s datebook is already filling up, with performances slated around the world, including a 10-day extravaganza to South Africa in November.
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