- Rated: PG-13
- Run Time: 1 hours, 31 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: January 14, 2014
- Originally Released: 2013
- Label: Radius
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Note: Deleted scenes
- Short film: The Buddy System
- Q&A with Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & director Morgan Neville
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.78
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
- Subtitles - English, Spanish
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Maxine Waters &
Los Angeles Times - 06/13/2013
"Their voices are powerful enough to tear you apart and put you back together again, and their stories will do the same."
Wall Street Journal -
"Mr. Neville's documentary has it all -- stirring stories about remarkable people, and music that not only approaches but now and then achieves the sublime."
USA Today - 06/14/2013
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Director Morgan Neville intersperses concert footage with intimate interviews in a rousing celebration of these unsung heroes and their nimble vocal instruments."
A.V. Club - 06/13/2013
"TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM touches on fascinating issues" -- Grade: B+
New York Times -
"This generous, fascinating documentary about the careers of backup singers, most of them African-American women, seeks to rewrite the history of pop music by focusing attention on voices at once marginal and vital."
Rolling Stone - 06/13/2013
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Lend your eyes and ears to the likes of Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer and Tata Vega, and get ready to revise your definition of what a star is."
Chicago Sun-Times - 06/28/2013
"[A] rousing and revelatory tribute that puts a much-deserved radiant face on those under-sung background singers that many of us have been humming along to for all these years."
Total Film - 03/24/2014
4 stars out of 5 -- "A highly entertaining musical history lesson that could (and should) just boost a few careers into the bargain."
Filmmaker Morgan Neville pays homage to some of the greatest vocalists you've never heard of in this documentary. While the lead singers in rock, pop and R&B are the ones who get the glory, knowledgeable music fans will tell you the backing vocalists often add the touches that make a performance truly memorable, and though many backup singers have the respect of their peers in the music business, they're all but unknown to the average listener. TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM pays homage to some of these unsung heroes, including Darlene Love (the uncredited lead voice on some of Phil Spector's most memorable productions of the 1960s); Merry Clayton (who contributed a striking vocal cameo on the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter"); Lisa Fischer (who has appeared on albums by Sting, Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin, as well as touring with the Rolling Stones); and the Waters Family (they sang with Michael Jackson on the album THRILLER and lent their voices to the films THE LION KING and AVATAR). The film also includes interviews with such superstars as Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Mick Jagger on the role backing vocalists play in music and the music business, while a number of veteran singers share their stories of the ups and downs of their careers. TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM received its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
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