The crowd-pleasing hit film they are at the center of – 20 Feet From Stardom – provides an intimate look at the lives of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century.
Yesterday, January 1, they stepped out from shadows of the legends they’ve backed up over the years, and into their very own spotlight, at the Rose Bowl, the grand-daddy of all college football bowl games, singing the National Anthem, in front of many millions of eyeballs (both on the field, in the stands, and those watching the game on TV in their homes).
They are the voices behind the greatest rock, pop and R&B hits of all time, but no one knows their names. In the award-winning film, director Morgan Neville shines the spotlight on the untold stories of such legendary background singers as Darlene Love (known for her hit “Christmas, Baby Please Come Home”), Merry Clayton (whose voice haunts the classic 1969 track by the Rolling Stones, “Gimme Shelter”), Lisa Fischer, Claudia Lennear, Judith Hill and more.
These are the triumphs and heartbreaks of music’s greatest unsung talents, featuring rare behind-the-scenes footage, vintage live performances, and interviews with superstars Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder and Bette Midler.
The film features rare archival footage of musical legends Ray Charles, Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross.
After much success on the festival circuit, RADiUS-TWC released 20 Feet From Stardom on June 14, 2013. The film earned about $5 million at the box office.
If you missed its theatrical run, look for it on DVD and Blu-Ray on January 14, 2014.
By the way, it’s a contender for the 2014 Best Documentary Oscar. The Academy culled its list down to 15 feature documentary films still in consideration last month, and 20 Feet From Stardom was one of them.
Final Oscar nominations will be announced on January 16.
I should also note that the Rose Bowl game saw Michigan State beat Stanford in a 24-20 victory.
In what some are calling a brilliant Oscar campaign strategy by RADiUS-TWC, watch the 20 Feet From Stardom stars take center stage in front of millions, singing the National Anthem.