Twenty feet from Stardom is the 2013 documentary from Morgan Neville exploring the world of the background singer. I was fascinated to learn that some of the same singers were the key voices behind so many big tunes. In some cases, the voices of singers like Darlene Love were used for hit records in which other singers were given credit.
This Oscar-winning documentary is in parts tremendously joyful, celebrating the unknown heros of the music business but sad also, as it also explores the failures of some of these performers to break out as solo entertainers. Other backup singers featured preferred to stay in the background supporting star performers such as the Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder, David Bowie and Elton John.
We didn’t watch Twenty feet from Stardom when it came out, and only caught up with it on DVD today. If you love music and enjoy a behind the scenes look at the music machinery, watch it if you get a chance. Entertaining and eye-opening. Recommended.