“Twenty Feet from Stardom” turns the spotlight on backup singers with gospel roots
New York -- The new film “Twenty Feet from Stardom” - featuring Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Tata Vega, Patti Austin among others - spotlights the untold true stories of the backup singers to some of the greatest musical legends of our era. And, because their stories begin most often in church, where preachers’ kids learned to sing and sustaining faith grew, “Twenty Feet from Stardom” testifies to the rich roots and far reach of gospel music.
“Backup singers pretty much all started in church choirs and can sing circles around most lead singers,” said Morgan Neville, the award-winning director of “Twenty Feet from Stardom”. “These gifted artists span a range of styles, genres and eras of popular music, but each has a uniquely fascinating and personal story to share of life spent in the shadows of super-stardom.”
“Twenty Feet from Stardom” presents rare archival footage, a peerless soundtrack and intimate interviews with Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger and Sting, to name a few. Such world-famous figures take a backseat, however, to the backup singers whose lives and stories now move to center stage.
Enter Dr. Mabel John, former solo artist who joined the “Raelettes,” backing up music legend Ray Charles. Dr. John now sings from the pulpit at Joy in Jesus Ministries where she has returned to her church and gospel roots.
Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices that brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others.
Released by RADiUS-TWC, “Twenty Feet from Stardom” held the coveted slot of opening this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film launches in theaters nationwide June 14.
To learn more, visit: www.Facebook.com/TwentyFeetFromStardom
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