7.4/10
11,568
83 user 147 critic

20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

Twenty Feet from Stardom (original title)
Trailer
2:16 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Morgan Neville
Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role as her overbearing husband's assistant, Noriko finds an identity of her own.

Director: Zachary Heinzerling
Stars: Ushio Shinohara, Noriko Shinohara, Alex Shinohara
Undefeated (2011)
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Chronicles three underprivileged students from inner-city Memphis and their volunteer coach who tries to help them beat the odds on and off the field.

Directors: Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin
Stars: Bill Courtney, O.C. Brown, Montrail 'Money' Brown
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary on the series of televised debates in 1968 between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley.

Directors: Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville
Stars: Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Dick Cavett
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and other international artists of The Silk Road Project discuss their philosophies on music and culture.

Director: Morgan Neville
Stars: Yo-Yo Ma, Kinan Azmeh, Kayhan Kalhor
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Documentary about the Funk Brothers, a group of Detroit musicians who backed up dozens of Motown artists.

Director: Paul Justman
Stars: Joe Hunter, Jack Ashford, Uriel Jones
Muscle Shoals (2013)
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary that celebrates Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the signature sound he developed in songs such as "I'll Take You There", "Brown Sugar", and "When a Man Loves a Woman".

Director: Greg 'Freddy' Camalier
Stars: Rick Hall, Aretha Franklin, Keith Richards
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary about the life and legend Nina Simone, an American singer, pianist, and civil rights activist labeled the "High Priestess of Soul."

Director: Liz Garbus
Stars: Nina Simone, Lisa Simone Kelly, Roger Nupie
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez.

Director: Malik Bendjelloul
Stars: Rodriguez, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, Dennis Coffey
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A celebration of the musical work of a group of session musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew", a band that provided back-up instrumentals to such legendary recording artists as Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys and Bing Crosby.

Director: Denny Tedesco
Stars: Denny Tedesco, Brian Wilson, Dick Clark
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An exploration of the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children's television host, Fred Rogers.

Director: Morgan Neville
Stars: Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers, John Rogers
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military.

Director: Kirby Dick
Stars: Amy Ziering, Kirby Dick, Kori Cioca
Documentary

A historical look at the charlatans who've influenced life and culture in the United States of America.

Director: Morgan Neville
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lou Adler ... Himself
Stephanie 'Stevvi' Alexander ... Herself (as Stevvi Alexander)
Patti Austin ... Herself
Chris Botti ... Himself
Todd Boyd Todd Boyd ... Himself (as Dr. Todd Boyd)
Carole Childs Carole Childs ... Herself
Amy Christian Amy Christian ... Herself
Greg Clark Greg Clark ... Himself
Kyliyah Clayton Kyliyah Clayton ... Herself
Merry Clayton ... Herself
Susan Collins Susan Collins ... Herself
Charlotte Crossley ... Herself
Sheryl Crow ... Herself
Chris Darrow Chris Darrow ... Himself
Paul Epworth ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

The backup singer exists in a strange place in the pop music world; they are always in the shadow of the feature artists even when they are in front of them in concert while they provide a vital foundation for the music. Through interviews with veterans and concert footage, the history of these predominately African-American singers is explored through the rock era. Furthermore, special focus is given to special stand outs who endeavored to make a living in the art burdened with a low profile and more personal career frustrations, especially those who faced the very different challenge of singing in the spotlight themselves. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet the unsung heroes behind the greatest music of our time.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language and sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

26 July 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A 20 pasos de la fama See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$54,596, 16 June 2013

Gross USA:

$4,946,445

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,839,368
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. See more »

Goofs

Error in important explanatory on-screen caption at around 10 minutes: "The Blossoms were on of the most prolific session groups of the 1960s." See more »

Connections

Features Stop Making Sense (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Got Dreams to Remember
Written by Otis Redding, Zelma Redding, and Joe Rock
Performed by Otis Redding
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

First Sugar Man and Now Stardom
11 July 2013 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

**** (out of 4)

Whereas SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN was one of the best films of 2012, this year has another musical documentary that turns out to be a masterpiece. Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Lou Adler, Sheryl Crow, Bette Midler and Mick Jagger are just a few of the well-known singers who talk about some back-up singers who everyone will know from certain hit songs yet it's highly unlikely that you'll know their names. Merry Clayton, Darlene Love, Claudia Lennear, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega and Judith Hill get their shot in the spotlight as they talk about why they are highly respected inside the business yet they never managed to become "stars" or lead singers on their own. Some of their reasons include them not wanting to but there are some darker ones dealing with race as well as Phil Spector simply hiding one from being famous. 20 FEET FROM STARDOM is a masterpiece in regards to music documentaries and it ranks right up there with some of the greatest ever made. It was rather amazing sitting back and hearing these stories and when you realize some of the music that these women have been involved with you certainly see why so many sing their praises. This includes Clayton who was pregnant and wearing rollers in her hair when she got a phone call in the middle of the night to help The Rolling Stones with what would become the chorus for Gimme Shelter. The film is full of wonderful and touching stories dealing with either high praise or simply hard luck. The fact that so many great songs are so memorable because of something that background singers are doing is a subject that seems to be long overdue. This film certainly makes it a very fascinating subject and it makes you wonder how many others are out there just waiting to get some credit that they deserve. The film features some terrific music from all of the artists mentioned so music fans will have a blast hearing songs from the 50s up through the 90s. 20 FEET FROM STARDOM is certainly one of the best films of 2013.


15 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 83 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed