In the new documentary “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” we hear the stories of singers that everyone’s heard whether they know their names or not. The doc showcases background singers, those vocalists, most often women, who support the star in front. From the Ikettes to the Raelettes to countless women whose names are not household ones, “Twenty Feet From Stardom” details their often challenging lives close to but not completely in the spotlight.
One of the most compelling stories in the doc is that of Brooklyn-born background singer Lisa Fischer, who sang for Luther Vandross and still works with the Rolling Stones. At 54, She is one of music’s best-known background singers and what makes her story unique is that she’s quite happy in that place. Despite winning a Grammy for her solo hit “How Can I Ease The Pain” in 1992, unlike Merry Clayton, Darlene Love and Judith Hill, also profiled, Fischer is content in the background.
“It’s an individual walk. A lot of background singers just really enjoy the blend and enjoy being in the room with other singers. I love it. Even as a child before I started singing for money, I just loved listening to my parent’s records and loved the background,” she told the Tom Joyner Morning Show. “I’d listen to it and figure out the harmonies and I just loved how they would sing together. I don’t know what that was about for me, but it was perfection for me….I don’t like being by myself.“ Clayton, who was a Raelette and Darlene Love, a part of Phil Spector’s famed Wall of Sound are both shown in their decades-long struggles to achieve solo stardom. Love has the most success, re-booting her solo career in her 40’s after a break with Spector and starring as Danny Glover’s wife in the popular “Lethal Weapon” movies.
Judith Hill, who sang with Michael Jackson, among others, was further frustrated in her solo aspirations when she was dismissed from “The Voice.” Hill’s early departure from the show led to judge Adam Levine famously saying “I hate this country.” It is Fischer, though, whose stunning talent if largely unheralded outside of music industry inner circles, is at the center of “Twenty Feet From Stardom.” There is a breathtaking sequence where she’s just scatting and while it underscores how truly gifted a vocalist she is, Fischer has no ambition beyond supporting other singers. She likes her privacy and anonymity although the festival success and release of “Twenty Feet From Stardom” is likely to threaten that.
“Twenty Feet From Stardom” opens in theaters on Friday, June 14th.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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