7.4/10
10,975
79 user 149 critic

Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013)

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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.

Director:

Morgan Neville
Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lou Adler ... Himself
Stephanie 'Stevvi' Alexander ... Herself (as Stevvi Alexander)
Patti Austin ... Herself
Chris Botti ... Himself
Todd Boyd Todd Boyd ... Himself (as Dr. Todd Boyd)
Carole Childs Carole Childs ... Herself
Amy Christian Amy Christian ... Herself
Greg Clark Greg Clark ... Himself
Kyliyah Clayton Kyliyah Clayton ... Herself
Merry Clayton ... Herself
Susan Collins Susan Collins ... Herself
Charlotte Crossley Charlotte Crossley ... Herself
Sheryl Crow ... Herself
Chris Darrow Chris Darrow ... Himself
Paul Epworth ... Himself
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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet the unsung heroes behind the greatest music of our time.

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language and sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 July 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A 20 pasos de la fama See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$54,596, 16 June 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,946,445

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,892,661
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

What'd I Say
Written by Ray Charles
Performed by Ray Charles (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Not as informative as you might think
11 July 2013 | by sunzncSee all my reviews

This is a documentary of the background singers we've been listening to for decades. People whose singing we actually sing or hum to without ever knowing who they are. They work in the studios and live on stage with The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Sting, and many, many others. That magic that works in the studio or on stage as background singers is undeniable but may not necessarily be there for them when they try to branch out on their own as a lead singer. They are talented for sure and many songs wouldn't sound anything like they do without back up singers.

The documentary is good however, something is missing. Who actually calls the singers for a gig? Who actually pays them? How are they paid? By the hour? By the session? How did they get started? Where was their first gig? None of this spoken of and there is a sense that perhaps the interviewers were told that they shouldn't dig too, too deep.

Not bad but left me wanting more.


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