Twenty Feet from Stardom

  • Morgan Neville
  • United States
  • 2012
  • 90 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Music Documentary
Who are the nameless voices that accompany rock stars onstage? The background singers of major artists look back at the early days of pop and talk about their anonymous existence in the shadow of fame – one that is characterized by abuse, plagiarism, but also quite a bit of musical passion and pleasure. Invisible to the average audience, these background singers have occasionally made it big with their long-held notes and flawless voices. Sting, Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder and others stop in to sing the praises of these folks, but this film puts the spotlight on the background singers themselves. They discuss their music careers with pride and passion, and their occasionally startling stories include tales of stolen song recordings that boosted the careers of others, and not getting credit where credit is due. But there are also fantastic anecdotes about working with world-famous bands. The interviews are interspersed with performance footage in almost all popular music genres, and of course accompanied by a kick-ass soundtrack. Twenty Feet from Stardom is a compelling portrait of vocal talent that opted for a career in the service of other people's success.


  • 90 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English
Morgan Neville
Gil Friesen, Morgan Neville for Tremolo Productions, Caitrin Rogers for Tremolo Productions
Nicola Marsh, Graham Willoughby
Douglas Blush, Kevin Klauder, Jason Zeldes
Dennis Hamlin

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Music Documentary

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IDFA history

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