20 Feet From Stardom celebrates the unheralded heroes of rock & roll: backup singers. Directed by Morgan Neville, the Oscar-nominated documentary talks to the once-unknown artists who helped classic songs become real classics.
In the film, Merry Clayton talks about singing the haunting opening lines to the Rolling Stones‘ “Gimme Shelter.” Darlene Love recalls working as a singer who helped Phil Spector construct his wall of sound using her voice as building blocks. The Voice‘s Judith Hill, who also was scheduled to be a part of Michael Jackson‘s This Is It show, reflects on the place of the modern backup singer. Additionally, legends Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Sting, and Bette Midler give their perspective on backup singers from their position in the spotlight.
In this exclusive clip provided to Rolling Stone, Love talks with Neville about one of the strangest moments of her career. While she was backing Tom Jones, the stage was so small that she had to stand in the audience aisle, performing with her back to ticketholders. Her response to an unruly audience member is priceless.
20 Feet From Stardom is out now.