Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Backup singers take center stage on Sundance's opening night
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When Merry Clayton tells to people to get on their feet, people get on their feet.

Clayton, one of the legendary back-up singers profiled in the documentary "Twenty Feet From Stardom" (which debuted Thursday night at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival), stepped up to the stage after the screening to a nice round of applause.

Clayton (perhaps best known for the female vocal on the Rolling Stones' classic "Gimme Shelter") yelled to the Eccles Theatre audience, "You all can do better than that."

The audience obeyed, delivering a rousing standing ovation to the rock 'n' roll survivor.

Later, when a few audience members started to leave (it was, after all, around 11:30 p.m.), Clayton called to them, "Why y'all leaving?"

Clayton joined singers Tata Vega (a favorite back-up singer of Elton John, among others) and up-and-comer Judith Hill (who sang "We Are the World" at Michael Jackson's memorial service) for the post-screening Q-and-A — and each delighted the crowd by a short solo.

Two of the singers profiled in the film — Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee Darlene Love and singer Lisa Fischer (who has been on every Rolling Stones tour since 1989) — were no-shows Thursday night. (Love had a family emergency, filmmaker Morgan Neville told the crowd, while Fischer had a gig and would arrive in Park City on Friday.)

All are expected for a concert in Park City on Sunday night.

- Sean P. Means

Article Tools

 Print Friendly
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.