Synopsis by Mark Deming
Filmmaker Morgan Neville pays homage to some of the greatest vocalists you've never heard of in this documentary. While the lead singers in rock, pop and R&B are the ones who get the glory, knowledgeable music fans will tell you the backing vocalists often add the touches that make a performance truly memorable, and though many backup singers have the respect of their peers in the music business, they're all but unknown to the average listener. Twenty Feet From Stardom pays homage to some of these unsung heroes, including Darlene Love (the uncredited lead voice on some of Phil Spector's most memorable productions of the 1960s); Merry Clayton (who contributed a striking vocal cameo on the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter"); Lisa Fischer (who has appeared on albums by Sting, Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin, as well as touring with the Rolling Stones); and the Waters Family (they sang with Michael Jackson on the album Thriller and lent their voices to the films The Lion King and Avatar). The film also includes interviews with such superstars as Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Mick Jagger on the role backing vocalists play in music and the music business, while a number of veteran singers share their stories of the ups and downs of their careers. Twenty Feet From Stardom received its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
music-industry, show-business, voice [singing]