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Title: 20 Feet From Stardom
Year Of Release: 2013
Review Date: August 1, 2019
Rating: PG
Running time: 90 minutes
Box Office Gross: $5,800,000
Site Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Note: this review contains spoiler

“20 Feet From Stardom” is a documentary film about the lives of some of the most prolific background singers in music history. The documentary features the talented background vocalists Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love, Tata Vega, Merry Clayton, Jo Lawry and Judith Hill.

Some such as Fischer, a former back-up singer for the late, great Luther Vandross, met with mainstream solo success. As a Luther fan, I have been very familiar with Fischer’s voice since I was a child. She is a fantastic singer. Luther helped her transition into solo stardom.

Fischer’s 1991 single “How Can I Ease The Pain” won a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. She did great vocal work on that track. Her vocals blow me away.

The documentary explores how difficult it was for some background singers to make the transition to solo artists and the fact many, including Fischer, returned to doing back-up vocals.

The music business is a strange one, as it often does not reward talent. When you think about the fact the back-up singers in this documentary sing a million times better than most of the female solo artists who are popular on the charts today, it makes you shake your head.

Talent really is no longer a priority in music, as labels are placing looks and raunchiness above all else.


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