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 (11/26-12/2)
26 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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3. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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4. Jus haaaanngin out
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5. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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6. new new
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7. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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8. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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9. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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11. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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12. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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13. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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14. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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15. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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16. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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17. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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18. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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20. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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21. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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22. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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23. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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24. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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25. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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26. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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