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Sunday, February 16, 2014

20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

One of the five nominees for this year's best documentary feature Oscar, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM is a riveting look at the unsung back up singers (predominantly women and predominantly black) that have become part of our musical heritage without the fame and fortune that accompanies the lead singer, the star on the album cover and in the spotlight. Listening to and watching their accomplishments, it's amazing how familiar we are with these singers' work without ever knowing who they are though anyone remotely knowledgeable of the pop/rock scene of the 60s and 70s know women like Darlene Love and Merry Clayton. Besides an appreciation of the art of these gifted women like the great Lisa Fischer (who can send a chill down your spine and bring tears to your eyes), Tata Vega, Claudia Lennear, Susaye Greene and Judith Hill; the film contemplates the question of stardom and success, why some make it and some don't (talent sometimes has nothing to do with it) and how some are perfectly content remaining in the "shadows". A must for every music lover, this is a glorious experience. Among the many interviewees: Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Sting, Bette Midler, Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow and Chris Botti.

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