Darlene Love: Finally Arriving at Stardom

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame backup singer discusses topsy-turvy career and new doc, "20 Feet From Stardom."
14:56 | 06/28/13

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Transcript for Darlene Love: Finally Arriving at Stardom
The only thing I thought I can do and make a little money to survive you know. I -- cleaning house. Not to bring our legal options doing cleaning house as he estimated eleven and see -- -- -- thousands who. One particular Christmas I was cleaning this lady's bathroom. Christmas baby please come home buying. Christmas -- came on the radio while I was claiming that. And I just looked up into -- OK all right -- this is not where you supposed to be. -- supposed to be singing there's a whole. World of -- who wants to hear -- Hi everybody I'm Peter Travers and this is popcorn where we tell you what is happening at the movies and you wanna see -- the U go to the documentary called -- -- From start up. You know they say that the women in this movie are twenty feet away from stardom. I have the proof that the start -- his right here with -- -- well. I am so happy it's the back at -- And yet look this is supposed to behind you that -- twenty feet from stardom we hear about the unsung heroes of the back up singers. And then I'd look at the credits -- -- it Bruce Springsteen staying Mick Jagger. If any longer and Bette Midler that I went down you guys. -- -- the local. Who negotiated. That we call it at that -- we have known and unknown witness then these aren't out that way it. -- before we go into the end -- and everything how did they approach who approached you and said Darlene I want you to be -- in a movie documentary. About. You singing better than anybody in the world -- -- not a stock. How else who what did you say when it came -- Lou Adler Fayette a friend of mine is the Communist so be nice to him Darlene and talk to him because usually you're not. Well not that I'm not because. Over the years because I've been in this business for over fifty years people -- -- -- so many different things. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And then Dick -- who did who directed the lethal weapon movies. Call me thought they would this man must be somebody keep looking for lethal weapon four. I was very happy about that I've been eligible for fifty years so I knew he wouldn't be calling me just be caught me telling me to do this. And then -- said okay and his nameless. Gil -- And he's -- he's such a wonderful man I mean I fell in love with him we've worked on this will be well over two years we got to know one another. And he's -- that he was gone into a star reunion didn't wasn't going to be this. Who's gonna do a story about back up singers because he went to a show. And he saw three girls singing background and -- -- -- yes and that's what intrigued him. So when he called me he say that Google and bowl. -- dollar -- if you're gonna do a story about background singers you have to conduct. Because of anybody knows about that -- singers she does and that's. Actually how it started with a phone call just talking about yes I know background singers -- Yes I've been doing for years and I've worked with -- -- so that really intrigued into. From there it just went on and the reason why -- famous. People in movies because they're talking about there bouncing from which is really great they give us -- -- Not a bad Bruce Springsteen -- -- -- love -- one woman ball effect. -- -- Actually right here up fifty do you have any qualms about this -- mean he sounded like it was originally like you get called a lot to do things. But this -- very frank about. Not only that talent that's here but the ex -- teach. -- -- and -- Fiat told the story about myself but years because I was involved Phil Spector. And people always wanted to know that's -- -- when he got in trouble. We've -- with the law while he's in prison that twenty years rely on wall is an actual war yeah it is wrong and yet. Sony picture you know it's free yeah who run around in his wit it and that's actually -- started but I had no idea it was going to be it was gonna grow to be news but I didn't even though. The people that -- in it until I actually saw the finished that. What do you think about the concept of twenty feet from stardom. As if you guys aren't stars yourself you know in this business without mentioning any names that -- backed -- people at war need it and 1100. Of a percentage point as good as you write how you stay with that -- have to. How can you actually do that when you've you've lived with -- ortho law. You know what I say this all without the -- probably will understand that always say the joy of the lord is my strength. And that's where my -- comes from and that's where my joy comes from because nobody can take away the talent and -- -- and when we're backing up people. We feel great about it -- backing up people to make them sound good. Ought to make them sound better. I tell this story all the time but my good friend Sonny Bono he's no longer -- witness. But we used to say the sunny fail if you get sunny out of here we could get through with this but didn't -- gang sent. Appropriately came all the time he said yeah absolutely I am out that your right -- as -- -- -- Boeing that would a lot of people you know and and and the great thing about a background singer. -- the blossoms. We got -- known as the greatest background singers in the business that people wanted -- them. It was like when we went -- those saying -- for somebody. They would just as happy or excited. They have also -- -- record as we work to work for them it became a great living. Well a great living so you are you know worth billions -- sell on his health care about it. You about that -- These have a fair -- the book. Income that are on -- vacant Bruce -- -- just given you peace at all really hot and could not. Yeah anybody I didn't leave if anything does not know what they're good friends and -- -- need something I need to goaded him bar helpful in getting. -- just like getting in the rock and roll all of thing. Bruce brings regulations that's like two years ago yeah thank you but people like Bruce Springsteen -- -- friend Steve Van -- Stevie Wonder. Elton John it was like -- why isn't she in the rock and roll hall of fame and they really went to bat. Like the last two -- -- three years. Before I got inducted they -- went on a campaign. To get me inducted zillion other -- -- -- really good friends. So when it. Happens when you're starting with the blossoms and you're doing this back up and then you're dealing with Phil Spector and suddenly -- -- hearing your voice coming out of other people. That's. That's what I mean by exportation that was the hardest -- because when I met Phil Spector. He hired. Me as a backup singer to saying he's a rebel flawed crystals and I knew that was gonna happen from the gate he paid me a lot of money to do that. But the second one -- and I had signed with -- So when I went in to do you -- and do run on and on of those bills was supposed to be done in -- records and that was hurtful. And you know it was it was really like I -- say you know if this is what this visitor about -- -- because -- and that some of the background. People pay us well you know scale back it was twenty to fifty an hour. And that's a lot of money in 1958. There's a lot of -- today. And you know we just get to the point where we'll go back to doing net -- wonderful lives peace in the -- but that. That's our -- wonderful life amid the guard exactly it and you know it just got to the point where everybody was of the crystals was mad at me I think it is them -- This this -- out. Go to him you know but they wouldn't do that you know -- -- -- -- When that happens you get on the phone I'm not actually was and -- -- when -- hurts he should've won. And I stopped turned my car around and went back to his office and I lit -- him. I would love to see Micky. We do you gonna get on my -- on the beach. And I winning and it just really like very thought of com -- I just heard. He should've I love that was supposed to be my record I don't understand why you keep doing this old dog you know you -- to understand you know -- you just had he's a rebel. You know and and people wanna hear -- -- you know. So I couldn't change in in the middle of the -- and put their voices on it is what's what -- be able to do run on. Because I win and we always for the background on person. And they would -- the lead on and I started recording the doo run run. And I said you know what -- -- probably do lead same exact way you did beyond of them have been sold and all nod solemnly and on the -- that I was so upset. I -- the earphones off my ears and -- think -- it fail unless we sign today and you could prove to me you don't Annan is going to be my record. I'm not gonna record he tried his old self it is going to be okay volume -- do it at a -- off -- studio. So and I would come back when you call me -- answer my phone. So we -- -- -- Brooks who was one of the crystals the lead singer to come in and put her voice over mine. So he didn't have to fight her -- -- didn't have to fight. And the -- that's the confusion with everybody except for. After all these years it's kind of slap in the face that you go to C twenty -- from stardom -- -- them. Live thinking. He's a -- -- and that's -- sound totally off. And then you see her -- and he's a rebel. -- also now is not a fight is not nobody get -- here it is not -- says go along with this the crystals are still working to date because of that. I'll be happy. You're still laughing. What happens when. You walked away -- -- east that you won what did you do what happened during that period we said no more. Things just -- was there from bad to worse. My father died. Had gotten a divorce I have three children I had to try to support. I couldn't get any jobs because I couldn't -- he does as the crystals because -- wasn't Chris. And -- started doing Daimler started cleaning houses but I still had my Mercedes. So I would drive to -- there had to drive -- work at pod mark caught the bottom of the deal now welcome to the house. And I did that about five to six months and you know just trying to get through this. And doing the holidays of the Christmas holidays. The -- radio with lane and down the hall I heard. Christmas baby please come home my song. And you know you I just -- beer and I was like. You know I didn't couldn't actually believed that was actually happening that was my turning point to say. This is not one -- -- to be doing and symbols to be singing. I love singing and I'm not gonna let somebody. Take away that gift. That was god given to me nobody has -- right to take away your -- -- -- gifts. And I just never looked back got bounced all over the place them in -- -- cruise ship. But that's where -- -- my husband we've been married thirty -- years next year can cracks and I guess I just that I have to do I have to saying no matter what song in my daddy's church and peoples church. But I just had to keep he'd never looking back just -- going forward. You know the stumbling. You know and worked at Lou -- club and he invited Bruce Springsteen and Steven van to -- show. And after the -- Steve infants as you need to come to new York and work. After work what are -- I don't know I have no idea probably set -- -- -- new weapon you com. And I said okay about a month -- -- later he calls -- city got me to jobs. And eventually. We moved to new York and it's been one of amendments and you're happy about this -- So happy about it they did such a great job we had I had no idea they were gonna go into such detail. You know the creative. -- team of that movie. What's so great you know I mean they really did some great film works great and teamwork with these with a home will be I'm so excited about it. And you're just happy -- I had spotted me and I've really do you heard us -- Can you tell us sometimes they have to their colleagues who I thought it was just me they did that is bound ally found about him now this thing this is -- -- let's -- Well. You know what we do darling the always in this show in song I want to know you talked about the church and you. Was the first thing you can remember that you -- If the old song bid would actually be funded with Elvis Elvis loved gospel means and that's what I want to -- You wondered if -- so little I hear the whole concert you know then you'd be taken away -- Half a kid there's little phone call -- to his hand had some really simple song and we used to saying all the time. In children's would cut children's -- in gospel. To me is saying again. God's unchanging. Hand didn't. -- to it is fair. -- -- -- -- change and then I have not been hey you know all of song being beaten to. And milk every about a got up. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- It's never gonna get better for me yeah. Experts Stuart thank you thank you thank you fellow -- Hasn't left with us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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