20 Feet from Stardom is the untold story of the artists responsible for refrains that are hummed and whistled around the world. The movie proves that back-up singers are unsung heroes with a chorus of their own.
The film focuses on the lives of African-American women such as Merry Clayton and Darlene Love who were the voices of generations spanning the 1960s, 70s and 80s. These women are dignified, refreshingly honest and chillingly talented. Despite exploitation and failed attempts at stardom they remain dedicated and passionate about their craft. Many were from religious families and the link between gospel and the history of popular music, particularly in the development of back-up vocals is explored well.
Featuring an inspiring soundtrack and guest appearances from Bruce Springsteen and Mick Jagger, 20 Feet from Stardom is a long overdue exploration of an overlooked part of cultural history. (LR)