Bruce Springsteen is trying to explain the yawning gulf, which often has little to do with actual talent, between being a backup singer and becoming a star.
“That walk to the front is complicated,” he says, adding a little later, “it can be a pretty long walk.”
Just how complicated and how long becomes clear in “20 Feet From Stardom,” a marvelously entertaining and instructive documentary about the hugely talented women (and a few men) who sing backup behind superstars including Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Sting and many more.
Some, like Darlene Love, now a feisty 71, have gone on to become stars in their own right. Most of the others tried, at some point, to become solo artists but failed for various reasons including mediocre material, insufficient promotion and or just plain lack of ego or drive.