20 Feet from Stardom(2013)
Meet the unsung heroes behind the greatest music of our time.
The world of backup singers, usually relegated to the shadows, is put under the spotlight in this winner of the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary that examines their role in popular music. Relatively uncelebrated, these performers’ voices are often those providing the hooks we find ourselves singing along to, walking a fine line between displaying their talent and upstaging the stars they sing with. As well as the backup singers themselves, 20 Feet from Stardom features interviews with Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Stevie Wonder and other industry folk.
On Demand, DVD & Blu-Ray
Available from 3 providers
BY Adam Fresco Flicks Writer
Director Morgan Neville delivers a music documentary to match last year’s superb Searching for Sugar Man. It’s a sizzling and ceaselessly entertaining movie, shining fascinating light on the unsung heroines of the music biz. Weaved against a cracking soundtrack are tales of the almost famous singers behind some of the greatest songs in the pop music canon, such as Darlene Love, (the uncredited voice of The Crystals), and the stupendous Merry Clayton (the female vocalist on The Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’).... More
Utilising archive footage and contemporary interviews, it’s a film that literally sings the praises of the likes of Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill, Claudia Lennear, Mabel John, Stevvi Alexander, Jo Lawry, Tata Vega and the Waters Family - names I didn’t appreciate until now. Their stories are fascinating and often heartbreaking, but what stands out above all are their unique and powerful singing abilities. From backing vocalists featured on the likes of ‘Young Americans’, ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, we learn of hopes, dreams, ambitions and lives lived in the shadows of mega stardom. A cautionary tale for X-Factor’s-Got-Talent wannabes, the interviewees tell of a business of show, where ambition alone isn’t enough to make it. In the harsh environs of popular culture, resilience, timing and sheer dumb luck often play as much a part as talent.
With a must-have soundtrack and contributions from grateful stars, including Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Sheryl Crow, Bette Midler and Stevie Wonder, this is cracking and insightful fare for music and documentary film fans.Hide
The Peoples' Reviews
Your rating & reviewRate / Review this movie
Rate and/or review
20 Feet from Stardom
BY Anne1 superstar
Loved this! Entertainment with a message. Great personal stories of the often unknown, but amazing voices, of backing singers, who had all the talent but not the egoes, or perhaps " them breaks" to make it as the BIG ARTISTS. Can these girls sing! Lisa Fischer is a STAR!