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Monday, 3 March 2014

Twenty Feet From Stardom Wins Oscar

At the 68th AcademyAwards Cermenony last night in Los Angeles 'Twenty Feet From Stardom' won the 'Best Documentary' category.

'Twenty Feet From Stardom' is the  untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others. 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 superstardom. Along with rare archival footage and a peerless soundtrack are intimate interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, and Mick Jagger to name just a few. For a complete list of all who appear in the film click here.

Some of us don't even know the names of these back up singers and the film certainly sheds a lot of light that maybe many were unaware of. For instance, I did not realise before I watched the film that Darlene Love and her group The Blossoms had actually sung on 'He's A Rebel', released under the name of The Crystals! Apparently Darlene Love thought that she was signed to a deal with Phil Spector but ended up a victim to another "ghost release" with The Crystals follow up to 'He's a Rebel',  'He's Sure the Boy I Love'.

Darlene Love Sings her Oscar Acceptance Speech.

A couple of the other ladies in the film.
Merry Clayton on backing vocals with The Rolling Stones on the original recording of 'Gimmie Shelter'. She also sang backing on Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Sweet Home Alabama'. Clayton has also sung with Joe Cocker, Tom Jones, and Linda Rondstat to name but a few.

Lisa Fischer has been singing back up vocals on every Stones tour since 1989. Here's one of the most amazing performances of 'Gimmie Shelter'. She also sings back up for Sting and has sung with Luther Vandross,Tina Turner, and last year she was touring as back up singer for Nine Inch Nails!.
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