Good Morning America: Backup Singers Shine in New Documentary
The unsung heroes of music are definitely the talented women that back up yesterday’s and today’s biggest acts. Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Joe Crocker, and Elvis Presley are just a few of those that have employed extremely talented women in their music.
Michael Jackson’s Judith Hill was meant to sing with him on his last tour and was inspired to dream big. Even though Hill didn’t get to fully realize her dreams with Jackson before his death, she went on to show the world her own power on the recent season of The Voice. Now, more backup singers are getting their spotlight with the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.
GMA: Merry Clayton in 20 Feet From Stardom
The women that were featured in the film love the portrayal and honor. They said that being a backup singer is more work than being a front stage act. Backup singers can sing lead, but most leads can’t sing backup. It takes a lot of blending and you have to drop your ego.
Merry Clayton said she hopes that the music business is changed by the documentary. She started singing backup at Capital Records at age 14. Both women said they had more power as backup and didn’t really want to be a lead.
Clayton said that she and her fellow backups made the music better. The stars would often ask their opinion and being able to hear and blend the sounds, the women could take the music in better directions. These are women that have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and sang with the greats. They themselves are the unsung greats of the music business.
20 Feet From Stardom is opening in New York and Los Angeles, but will open nationwide soon.