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20 Feet from Stardom

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Director  Morgan Neville
Initial DVD release  January 14, 2014 (USA)
Language  English
7.4/10 IMDb

Genre  Documentary, History, Music
Screenplay  Morgan Neville
Country  United States
20 Feet from Stardom movie poster
Release date  January 17, 2013 (2013-01-17) (Sundance) June 14, 2013 (2013-06-14) (United States)
Initial release  June 14, 2013 (New York City)
Cast  Bette Midler (Herself), Mick Jagger (Himself), Sting (Himself), Sheryl Crow (Herself), Bruce Springsteen (Himself), Stevie Wonder (Himself)
Similar movies  Justin Biebers Believe (2013)

Filmmaker Morgan Neville shines a long-overdue spotlight on the hit-making contributions of longtime backup singers like Darlene Love and Merry Clayton.


20 Feet from Stardom movie scenes

20 Feet from Stardom is a 2013 American documentary film directed by documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville and was produced by Gil Friesen, a music industry executive whose curiosity to know more about the lives of background singers inspired the making of the film.

20 Feet from Stardom movie scenes

The film follows the behind-the-scenes of backup singers and stars Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega, and Jo Lawry, among many others. On March 2, 2014, it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards.

20 Feet from Stardom movie scenes

Darlene Love can be recognized from her film career, acting as Danny Glover’s wife in the Lethal Weapon series, and she also became known for appearing each Christmas on The Late Show with David Letterman.

20 Feet from Stardom movie scenes

Lisa Fischer said of backup singing: “I reject the notion that the job you excel at is somehow not enough to aspire to, that there has to be something more. I love supporting other artists.” She added: “Some people will do anything to be famous. I just wanted to sing.”

Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.


  • Darlene Love
  • Judith Hill
  • Merry Clayton
  • Lisa Fischer
  • Tata Vega
  • Jo Lawry
  • Stevvi Alexander
  • Lou Adler
  • Patti Austin
  • Chris Botti
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Mick Jagger
  • Mable John
  • Gloria Jones
  • David Lasley
  • Claudia Lennear
  • Lynn Mabry
  • Bette Midler
  • Janice Pendarvis
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Sting
  • The Waters (Oren, Maxine and Julia Waters)
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Susaye Greene
  • Archive footage
  • Ray Charles
  • Michael Jackson
  • Luther Vandross
  • Release

    On January 17, 2013, the film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. At Sundance, the film was acquired by Radius-The Weinstein Company and was released nationwide on June 14, 2013. The film was also acquired for international distribution by Elle Driver / Wild Bunch. The film was screened at many film festivals in 2013 including South by Southwest Film Festival, True/False Film Festival, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, Philadelphia Music Film Festival, RiverRun Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, among others.


    20 Feet from Stardom received nearly universal positive reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 99% approval rating with an average rating of 8.1/10 based on 110 reviews. Metacritic gave the film 83/100 based on 24 reviews, indicating "Universal acclaim".

    The film was a box office success, grossing $4,834,823 in the domestic box office and $385,664 internationally for a worldwide total of $5,220,487.

    The film was compared to the 2012 book The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Rolls Best-Kept Secret, which focused on uncredited studio musicians in the same era, in a review.

    Similar Movies

    Justin Biebers Believe (2013). Elvis: Thats the Way It Is (1970). Be Here to Love Me (2004). Bad 25 (2012). The Weavers: Wasnt That a Time! (1982).


    At the 86th Academy Awards, it won the award for best documentary. At the 19th Critics Choice Awards, it also won the Best Documentary Film award. At the 2015 Grammy Awards, it won Best Music Film.


    20 Feet from Stardom Wikipedia
    20 Feet from Stardom IMDb 20 Feet from Stardom

    Similar Topics
    Bette Midler
    Bruce Springsteen
    Mick Jagger