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‘Twenty Feet From Stardom’ (Doc On African American Back-Up Singers) Gets Theatrical Date

'Twenty Feet From Stardom' (Doc On African American Back-Up Singers) Gets Theatrical Date

RADiUS-TWC acquired North American rights to the documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom, at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where it is said to have received an overwhelming standing ovation during it world premiere there.


What would a pop song be without the riffs, refrains, and harmonies of its backup vocalists? Although these singers are usually relegated to the margins, and few, if any, become household names, their work has defined countless songs that remain in our hearts and collective consciousness. Twenty Feet from Stardom juxtaposes interviews with industry legends (Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, and others) and the relative unknowns who support them like Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill as they illuminate the art of melding their own distinct voices with lead vocals and reveal their desires for careers as solo artists. Twenty Feet from Stardom traces the backup singers’ history—from those Phil Spector–produced pop tunes and soul-inspired British Explosion acts of the 1960s, to their reversal of fortune when the recording industry changed in the 1990s, and into today.

The film, directed by Morgan Neville, promises an unprecedented look at the personal journeys of these normally un-celebrated, although indispensable artists, and pays tribute to their unforgettable role in popular music.

RADiUS will release the film theatrically, on June 14th, 2013.

The film was produced by Gil Friesen with director Neville’s Tremolo Productions.

No trailer yet… but watch the behind-the-scenes profile of the film below and get to know some of the players:

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I so want to see this!

I still have Lisa Fischer's tape, "How Can I Ease The Pain?" is STILL a fabulous song!

Merry Clayton sang with a lot of white rock bands like the Stones in the 60s, I believe. Also, she was on the Dirty dancing soundtrack to, I think.


Judith Hill and Lisa Fischer are both amazing!!!! I am not as familiar with the other two ladies listed above.

Quiet as it's kept, the background singers are often much better singers than the lead.


Unfortunately, I don't see Lisa Fischer in the trailer. One of the greatest voices in the business with one of the longest careers as a backup singer.

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