The title “Twenty Feet from Stardom” implies a missed opportunity at being famous; to be so close and yet so far. But the business careers of backup singers are by far the least interesting aspect of Morgan Neville‘s documentary. Where Twenty Feet from Stardom shines is in using the perspective of backup singers to explore music history, race, collaboration, and performance. Backup singers Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, and Tata Vega share their bittersweet stories of how the business may have kept them down, but that there’s arguably more value in singing as part of a group. The claim never sounds disingenuous as their passion always rings loud and clear.
In the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake Haiti has almost nothing left. Its meager infrastructure was toppled by the earthquake and has made administering aid in the form of medical attention and food and water rations a herculean task. In an effort to stabilize the country, everyone from Wyclef Jean to former Presidents Clinton and Bush have been asking for donations. In response, George Clooney has organized the entertainment industry and will present a two-hour benefit concert called Hope for Haiti Now. There will be shows in Los Angeles, New York and London and featured performers include Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Rihanna, Jay-Z, U2, Justin Timberlake and many more. Other celebrities will be manning a phone bank during that time to take donations. The performances will be available for purchase on iTunes the following day with all the proceeds going to relief efforts. All the money that is raised will be doled out evenly among the following services: Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, and Yele Haiti Foundation. In a testament to how urgently aid is needed to help avert further tragedy in Haiti the concert will air on roughly 30 networks, ranging from standbys like ABC, CBS and NBC to niche cable stations like CMT.
Hit the jump for the full press release.