They’re behind some of the greatest musicians of the 21st Century — literally. They’re the background singers and stars of “20 Feet From Stardom,” who received the ultimate nod Thursday morning (January 16) with an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature.
The emotional music doc looks back on the careers of some of the best background singers in the game: Merry Clayton (background for Ray Charles, Mick Jagger), Darlene Love (Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick), Lisa Fischer (Luther Vandross, Tina Turner), Claudia Lennear (Joe Cocker) and “The Voice” alum Judith Hill (Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder). MTV News chatted with Hill about the film after her run on the hit reality competition ended back in May 2013.
” ’20 Feet From Stardom’ is this incredible music documentary about these unsung heroes, these background singers who have done so much, and yet, you may not know their names, but you know their voices, because they’re on every record, and just their incredible stories,” Hill said of the film that features candid interviews with artists including Mick Jagger and Sting. “I’m really thrilled that it’s coming out and they’re getting the recognition they deserve.”
While the film sheds light on the singers’ struggles to step out from the shadows and find their own spotlight, being 20 feet from stardom does have its advantages: “The magical moment of being in Rio de Janeiro on Christmas and singing in front of millions of people with Stevie Wonder,” Hill recalled. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve learned so much and had so many magical moments as a background singer.”
The 86th annual Academy Awards will air live March 2.