They are the voices behind the greatest Rock, Pop and R&B hits of all time, but no one knows their names. Now in this award-winning documentary, director Morgan Neville shines the spotlight on the untold stories of such legendary background singers as Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Claudia Lennear, Judith Hill and more. These are the triumphs and heartbreaks of music's greatest unsung talents, featuring rare behind-the-scenes footage, vintage live performances, and interviews with superstars Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder and Bette Midler.
20 Feet From Stardom won the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2014. As a creative type, it so intrigued me, that I added it to my Amazon shopping cart where it lived for almost a year. I finally bought it with some of my Christmas gift cards last December, and my husband and I just watched it.
It was fascinating to discover that so many famous songs had the same few backup singers. It floored me. And so few listeners even know these talented men and women's names.
Now, not all these people longed to be in the spotlight. Some loved to sing and make art from music. And they didn't want to be that "entertainer" center stage. But some did. And many of them never hit it big.
All that leads me to today's quote, which I wrote down while watching the show. This came from Sting, who did many interviews on this project.
Lately, people tend to think that life should be fair. But it isn't. And people can enact lawsuits trying to force life to be fair, and some judges and juries might even agree with them. But it doesn't change the truth. Life is not fair. And the best people deal with that. They put on a smile each day. They keep a good attitude. They love on others. They work hard. They give, even if they don't get back.
I was able to draw so many parallels between the careers of singers and writers after watching this program. Many writers feel like those backup singers who are longing for the spotlight to shine on them. We write the books that come to us, the stories that we are passionate about. We write about characters that interest us. And we put the stories out there. But it's not always about talent. It's luck, destiny, circumstance. We sometimes can't even define what makes a book hit big. But our chosen profession isn't the only thing that defines us. And if we are going to enjoy life on this planet, we need to find a way to deal with the unfairness.
How do you deal with unfairness in the writing world? What are some ways you could choose joy each day?