Leontyne Price (Jack Mitchell Photo) by LZ Granderson (CNN) — In the third act of the opera “Aida,” there is an aria, “O Patria Mia,” that begins, “Oh, my country, I shall never see you again.” On January 3, 1985, after Leontyne Price sang those words, the audience at the Metropolitan Opera House stopped her with a four-minute ovation. Price first performed at the Met 24 years earlier, and this night, this performance would be her last on an opera stage.
by Dwight BrownNNPA Film Critic They can sing a joyful noise. In pitch-perfect harmony. Never missing a beat. Yet they rarely take center stage. Why? Background singers, are the unsung heroes of music. Without them, lead singers sound hollow. Now their voices are heard, in an enlightening documentary that is as illuminating as it is thoroughly entertaining. Back in the day, backup singers just sang the notes on the page. In the ‘60s, a new breed of singer evolved, and these divas sang from the heart. Hard to say who was the first, but certainly, Darlene Love is one of the godmothers of the genre. Says Love, “God gave me this talent and I intended to use it.” Love led the background group the Blossoms, who were introduced to the world on the ‘60s musical TV show Shindig. Love was the one in the center, with the puffy red hair who wailed like a gospel singer but sang rock, pop and soul music. You may not recognized her face, but you know her voice.