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Ms. France Joli


About Me

By the age of four, native French Canadian France Joli had proven to anyone who would listen that she had real talent as a singer. By 11, she was a veteran of vocal lessons, rehearsing over Barbra Streisand records and handling a skipping rope like a microphone. She’d appeared on local television, and was a mainstay of French and English radio and TV commercials in Montreal. A rare breed of entertainer, she was one of the few professionals who could sing in English and French. Flash forward many years. With solid dance and acting training thrown in, Joli was ready to give stardom a shot, and was introduced by a mutual acquaintance to local songwriter-producer Tony Green. He was so blown away by her talent that he wrote the song “Come To Me” for France the very next day. The tracks Joli cut with Green were picked up by Prelude Records and released on April 17, 1979 as the album “France Joli.” “Come To Me” received a boost when Joli performed it as a last-minute replacement for Donna Summer at a concert held on Fire Island, New York on July 7, 1979 before an estimated audience of five thousand. It was her American debut, and the then-16-year-old has never looked back. “Come To Me” began a three-week reign atop the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play on September 22, 1979 and the ”France Joli” album rose to #26. France made her network television debut on the October 26, 1979 broadcast of “The Midnight Special,” and co-hosted the December 7th episode. Her other TV credits include episodes on the talk shows of Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, and Dinah Shore—not to mention an appearance on a Bob Hope Special. 1980 saw the release of Joli’s second album, “Tonight,” and in 1981, Joli’s third album, “Now,” was released. For one week in 1981, she opened for the Commodores during their American tour at Radio City Music Hall. By 1983, France had signed with CBS Records’ Epic label, releasing two albums: “Attitude” and “Witch of Love,” produced by heavy hitters Giorgio Moroder and George Duke, respectively. The latter album included the track “Partylights,” which Joli took to the Yamaha World Popular Song Festival at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo in 1985. Not only did she win the Best Vocalist medal, but she even walked away with the Grand Prize—only the second singer to do so in the festival’s history. France continued to tour the world throughout the 80s and early 90s. In 1996, she was reunited with Tony Green for the single, “Touch,” on Popular Records. The follow-up single, “Breakaway,” included remixes geared toward the underground clubs. Both were featured on Joli’s 1998 album “If You Love Me.” That was also the year “Come To Me” was featured in the movie “54,” depicting the goings-on at Studio 54 in New York. Since the new millennium, France has continued to perform not only in the New York area (including in Manhattan’s famed Rainbow Room) but in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Dallas, Florida, New Orleans, and Mexico City, among other locales. In 2003, “Come To Me” was featured in “When Ocean Meets Sky,” a documentary detailing the 50-year history of the Fire Island Pines community. In 2012, France participated in the recordings on the “Disco Tribute to Donna Summer” album with many other disco recording stars. That was also the year she released her self-produced dance version of the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah” and its CD of top-notch remixes. Joli shot the remake’s video in Palm Springs, California. The song went on to become the hit of the summer, particularly in gay mecca Provincetown, with Joli making several appearances there over Carnival Week. In 2013, France made her Off-Broadway debut in Anthony J. Wilkinson’s “My Big Gay Italian Wedding” at St. Luke’s Theater in January. She returned for a sophomore cameo performance, and also occasionally appeared in the Off-Broadway sequel, “My Big Gay Italian Funeral.” She was featured that year in James Arena’s best-seller “First Legends of Disco” (for which she also wrote the foreword). In 2016, the Broadway musical, “Disaster!,” at the Nederlander Theatre featured “Come To Me” as a second-act show-stopper. On April 3, 2016, France 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. 2018 is already shaping up to be as good a year as 2017, with the singer crisscrossing from coast to coast to regale disco fans who can’t seem to get enough of her, her classic hits, and her famous disco medley of songs made popular by other artists.

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