20 Feet From Stardom is one of the most buzzed-about documentaries of the year and is likely on its way to an Oscar nomination. The film, about a group of women who have made careers as backup singers to some of the industry's biggest stars at the expense of their own solo dreams, is the kind of uplifting story that brings audiences across wide demographics together — much like the music they help create.
We sat down with three of the film's subjects — Judith Hill, Darlene Love and Lisa Fischer — to talk about their solo careers, the so-called "Golden Age" of music and struggles they faced in the industry. Hill, the youngest of the group and best known as a finalist on The Voice, admits she "throws in the towel every morning," but before long inspiration strikes in the form of a song and she becomes rejuvenated. The biracial beauty, who was hand-selected by Michael Jackson for a duet on his ill-fated This Is It tour, is currently working on her debut solo album.
Veterans Fischer and Love, by contrast, talk about the security of staying in the background versus the vulnerability of being a solo artist. Fischer, who has sang backup for artists like Luther Vandross and Tina Turner, admits that for a while she felt her calling was to "give" her talent to others.
For more on these talented ladies, including who was their favorite star to sing with, check out our exclusive interview below. 20 Feet From Stardom is available on DVD on January 14, 2014.