The Nine Most Beautiful Backup Singers

There’s a lot going on beyond center stage. 

Last year’s Oscar-winning documentary “Twenty Feet From Stardom” illustrated – with funk and wit – a long-known fact in the music industry: sometimes, the greatest talent on stage isn’t singing through the lead mic. One of rock’s greatest hits, The Rolling Stones’Gimme Shelter,” is most famous for a searing hook sung by the incredible Merry Clayton; Aretha Franklin’s stirring “Ain’t No Way” wouldn’t be the same song without backup singer Cissy Houston’s (mother of Whitney) soaring, operatic background swoops. To celebrate this under-celebrated demographic, we pulled together a slideshow of the nine most beautiful backup singers, women who prove that rich harmony is as valuable a product as a piercing lead.