10 amazing music documentaries to watch on Netflix right now
20 January 2020, 14:46
Ten of the best music documentaries on Netflix that you can stream right now.
Whether you’re looking for live concert films, artist biographies or explainers of music history, Netflix has a huge range of documentary options for any music lover.
From present day pop stars to historical greats, behind-the-scenes looks at backing singers and gripping investigations into music industry controversies, there’s almost too much to choose from. Lucky for you, we’re here to help and have rounded up ten of the best music documentaries on Netflix worth staying in for. Enjoy!
1) Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé
Charting the road to Beyoncé’s now legendary 2018 Coachella performance, Homecoming features behind-the-scenes clips and rehearsal footage as well as high quality footage of the actual performance itself. Featuring 200 performers on stage, from dancers to backing singers and trumpet players, the film takes an engaging look at one of the singer’s most iconic performances yet, which marked the first time a black woman had ever headlined Coachella.
2) Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
Netflix’s Fyre Festival documentary charts the making (and swift downfall) of the now infamous luxury festival that never actually happened. Festival organisers Billy MacFarland and Ja Rule promised festival goers the experience of a lifetime with a star-studded line-up, gourmet food and glamorous accommodation, but instead, thousands of guests arrived at the festival’s island location to an unfinished site with a few poorly assembled tents and slices of processed cheese for catering. Featuring interviews with organisers and behind-the-scenes footage this documentary is a hilarious look into the most famous fake festival of all time.
3) Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour
Taylor Swift’s first all-stadium tour in support of her sixth album Reputation spanned 53 dates and made an incredible $357 million dollars, making it her most successful tour to date. This film features the entire show in glorious detail from start to finish, filmed on the last date of her 2018 tour in Arlington, Texas and featuring 26 of her most famous songs.
4) Surviving R. Kelly
R. Kelly was once celebrated as one of the best R&B singers of all time, until he was hit with allegations of sexually and emotionally abusing numerous young women and girls. More than 50 people - including some of his alleged victims - were interviewed for this six-part documentary which delves into R. Kelly’s dark past, including civil rights activist Tarana Burke, musicians John Legend and Sparkle, talk show host Wendy Williams, and R. Kelly's family members in an emotional look into how many in the music industry with money and power chose to overlook shocking claims of abuse which go back decades.
5) Gaga: Five Foot Two
Giving a behind-the-scenes access to a year in the life of Lady Gaga as she prepares to release her 2016 album Joanne and rehearses for her now famous performance at 2017 Super Bowl Halftime show, Five Foot Two gives a look into some of the star’s most vulnerable moments as she battles chronic pain, a break-up and moving into a new musical era.
6) Hip Hop Evolution
Hosted by Canadian rapper Shad, this documentary series charts the history of hip-hop music through interviews with some of the genre’s leading stars. Starting with artists who laid the foundations early on, including Akrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash, before moving on to other influential groups such as Run-DMC and Public Enemy, charting hip hop from its beginnings as an underground movement to a mainstream genre.
7) What Happened, Miss Simone?
Using a mix of archival footage, previously unheard recordings and her best-known songs, this biographical documentary tells the story of legendary singer and activist Nina Simone. The musician released more than forty albums between 1958 and 1974 and was an outspoken activist for America’s civil rights movement. This film tells the story of her life through a combination of original footage and interviews with her daughter and friends.
8) Twenty Feet From Stardom
This Oscar-winning film takes a look at the backing singers who have lent their talents to many stars’ music but are often overlooked. Director Morgan Neville speaks to artists Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and The Rolling Stones as well as some backing singers who became famous in their own right, such as Darlene Love, Táta Vega and Judith Hill, to look into the personal and professional lives of the singers who played a vital role to some of music’s biggest moments.
Charting his 60 year+ career so far, this doc chronicles the incredible achievements of music producer and performer Quincy Jones. Recording almost 3000 songs and 300 albums, writing 1000 original compositions and 50 film and TV scores - all of which resulted in 79 Grammy nominations and 27 wins, there’s plenty of achievements to get through. Directed by Alan Hicks and Quincy’s daughter Rashida Jones, the film offers a look both into the producer’s public image and the private life behind it.
10) Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings
Each of Dolly Parton’s eight-part anthology series is based on one of the country singer’s famous songs, featuring scripted dramatisations of hits like ‘Jolene’, ‘Two Doors Down’ and ‘If I Had Wings’ and, of course, featuring appearances by Dolly herself.