April 23, 2021

Twenty Feet From Stardom: Exceptional Music Documentary

Netflix just added the music documentary, “Twenty Feet From Stardom” which depicts the life and plight of the back-up singer.

Some of the background singers like Darlene Love or Sheryl Crow had solo careers, but the majority have names the public does not know. As you listen to the sublime voices of Tata Vega, Lisa Fischer, Merry Clayton, Judith Hill, Charlotte Crossley, Oren Waters, Jo Lowry and the Waters Family, you are struck by the fickle nature of fame. In an alternate universe, these vocalists would have been up there on the celebrity list with Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday and Diana Ross.

The archival footage of George Harrison, David Bowie, the Talking Heads, the Rolling Stones, Ike and Tina Turner and Michael Jackson assembled by Director Morgan Neville alone makes this documentary worth your time. The film also has thought-provoking interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger and Sting where they expound on the role of the back-up singer.

Still the emphasis of the documentary is on these fabulous mostly African-American and female vocalists who have been an integral part of the popular music soundtrack of our lives. May “Twenty Feet From Stardom” give them some of the acclaim they so richly deserve.

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