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‘20 Feet From Stardom’ (2013)

‘20 Feet From Stardom’ (2013)

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Their names were unknown outside the music biz, but the backup singers here — mostly Black, mostly female — demonstrate plenty of star quality. Darlene Love is the most familiar name but Lynn Mabry (who’s also in “Stop Making Sense”), Merry Clayton and Lisa Fischer all demonstrate pipes that should have had bigger careers. The highlight is a sequence that isolates Clayton’s scorching vocal track on the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.”

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Singer Merry Clayton performs at the Dolby Theatre on Dec. 4, 2012, in Hollywood, California. Clayton is one of the subjects of the 2013 documentary film "20 Feet From Stardom." (Michael Buckner/Getty Images for The Painted Turtle Camp/TNS)

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