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WATCH: 'Twenty Feet From Stardom' Director On The First Film About Backup Singers

By KJ Relth

Whose is that powerful female voice behind Mick Jagger on The Rolling Stones' 1969 hit "Gimme Shelter"? Who was that woman dancing and crooning on stage behind Tina Turner? Who exactly is that talent behind the talent?

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville found himself asking these same questions. After doing research into what he found to be a lacuna in music history, Neville conducted preliminary interviews with some of the hardest working performers in show business today. What came out of his research and interviews was Twenty Feet From Stardom, a film that has gone on to be the highest grossing documentary film of 2013. Through interviews, intimate studio sessions and incredible performance footage, Neville's doc delves straight into the soul and the heart of the singers that make all our favorite songs just that much richer.

Twenty Feet from Stardom screened on Wednesday, October 23 in Los Angeles as a part of the IDA Documentary Screening Series. Filmmaker Morgan Neville and film subject Merry Clayton spoke with Indiewire Editor-in-Chief Dana Harris about why there hasn't been a film before about backup singers.

Watch below:

You can watch more moments from this Q&A at our IDA Screening Series playlist on our YouTube channel.

Learn more about the other docs set to play in the IDA Documentary Screening Series