Tones And I has traveled a long way from her days busking on the streets of Australia’s east coast.
Further proof was presented Sunday (Aug. 20) when the Australian singer and songwriter (real name: Toni Watson) performed a mini-set ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup final, a matchup between soccer powerhouses Spain and England.
Singing in front of a full house of more than 75,000 spectators at Sydney’s Stadium Australia, Tones powered through four songs, “I Am Free,” “I Made It,” “Fly Away,” and, of course, “Dance Monkey,” her global hit which led the charts in at least 30 countries.
Released in 2019, “Dance Monkey” went all the way in Australia, where it set the all-time record with 24 weeks at No. 1, and the U.K., where it reigned for 11 weeks, a record for a solo female artist.
Her catalog recently swung past 10 billion streams combined, and now includes World Cup tie-in “The Greatest,” and “Bring It On,” a collaboration with American rapper BIA and French-Senegalese singer-songwriter Diarra Sylla, which featured as the official walkout track to all 64 tournament games.
Produced and co-written by multi-Grammy Award winning producer RedOne, “Bring It On” will be played at future FIFA tournaments.
Tones’ sophomore album, the followup to Welcome to the Madhouse, which led the ARIA Albums Chart following its release in 2021, is expected to arrive in 2024.
Watch Tones’ World Cup Final performance below. For the record, Spain prevailed over England, 1-0, for La Roja’s first title.
Tones didn’t have the only musical moment at the tourney’s close. As the Matildas campaign came to an end, former child star Nikki Webster was a surprise guest on stage when the home team was unveiled to fans in Brisbane.
Webster, who enjoyed a breakout moment when, aged 13, she performed at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics opening ceremony, interacted with the Aussie soccer stars as she sang her signature song “Strawberry Kisses” – a dressing room regular for the Matildas.
After finishing a best-ever fourth in the World Cup, and igniting a frenzy for the roundball game never seen before in these parts, the Matildas were presented with the keys to the city of Brisbane, the 2032 Olympic Games host city, with the promise of a statue to come.
Watch the performance at Brisbane’s Riverstage below.