Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.
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The backup singer exists in a strange place in the pop music world; they are always in the shadow of the feature artists even when they are in front of them in concert while they provide a vital foundation for the music. Through interviews with veterans and concert footage, the history of these predominately African-American singers is explored through the rock era. Furthermore, special focus is given to special stand outs who endeavored to make a living in the art burdened with a low profile and more personal career frustrations, especially those who faced the very different challenge of singing in the spotlight themselves. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I didn't see 20 FEET FROM STARDOM in the theater because I thought it would be just a lame VH-1 type doc. And guess what, it is! I finally saw it because it has such Oscar buzz. It's ultimately an unfocused mess. Nice to see so many talented "background" singers but the film can't contain itself when it comes to fame and the big time. Why is that the focus? Is fame the only reward? The singers in the film continually tell us it is not but the filmmakers cannot stay clear of the topic. And why delve into the topic with great producer like Lou Adler who appears in the film. He knows that talent is not what drives success. Some of the least talented people have had massive careers in pop music and some of them are even in this film!
These women deserve to be celebrated for what they brought to music. The film does this but then it veers all over the place. Imagine a deep analysis of GIMME SHELTER and what that song would be like without the masterful female background vocals.
20 FEET is just a big nothing. These women deserve better!
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