LOS ANGELES (AP) — “20 Feet from Stardom,” a documentary that puts the spotlight on backup singers, has won the Oscar for best documentary feature.
The film, directed by Emmy-award winner Morgan Neville, takes a look at the singers who come of age amid the careers of luminaries like Ray Charles, Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder.
Befitting the attention that they normally miss out on, backup singer Darlene Love broke into song before the Dolby Theatre crowd, singing “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free.”
Neville acknowledged late producer Gil Friesen, the A&M Records executive whose fascination with backup singers at a Leonard Cohen concert inspired the film. Friesen died in December of cancer at age 75.
“Tonight, I know he’s celebrating with us,” Neville said.