A pop star’s life is not always an upbeat one and these documentaries prove just that

Published March 1, 2021, 4:42 PM

by John Legaspi

Real stories behind the shiny clothes, the masks of makeup, and the perfect smiles 

Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Katy Perry, Amy Winehouse, and Britney Spears

“She is so lucky, she is a star,” a lyric from Britney Spears’ song “Lucky.” A song that perhaps offers a complete embodiment of the American pop superstar’s life during the peak of her career in the 2000s. The time before everything in her life went downhill.

Pop stars and other female singers possess what every little girl would love to have when they grow up—beauty, fame, and fortune. Everyone adores them. Everyone wants to be them. While fans could only imagine how “lucky” these female artists are, their lives do not always play out the way their upbeat music express. 

Proving just that is the documentary film “Framing Britney Spears,” reminding people all around the world how the pop star was unfairly treated by the music and entertainment industry, the media, and the people who ate her out in her darkest moments. Through the art of behind-the-scenes storytelling, female singers are breaking down boundaries, tearing misconceptions, and giving themselves the power to tell their real story behind the shiny clothes, the mask of makeup, and the perfect smile. 

Still hung up about “Framing Britney Spears”? Today, you’re the lucky one. We have listed other documentary pieces centering on the life on and off stage of some of the most revered women of the music industry, guaranteeing to give an answer to the question: “If there is nothing missing in her life, then why do tears come at night?”

‘Miss Americana’ (2019)

This documentary chronicles the highs and lows of the life and career of pop star Taylor Swift. From her sexual assault legal battle and her political stand to dealing with eating disorder and her time in the recording studio, “Miss Americana” gives an unfiltered glimpse to the new woman that emerged from America’s pop sweetheart. 

‘Amy’ (2015)

Released after the death of English singer Amy Winehouse, “Amy” reveals the painful realities of the artist’s life. While the film presents her struggles with drug and alcohol abuse, self-harm, and bulimia, it also brings to the spotlight what a remarkable singer Amy is, and how unfortunate it is for us to lose her.

‘Katy Perry: Part Of Me’ (2012)

Dive deep into Katy Perry’s colorful world in the autobiographical documentary “Katy Perry: Part of Me.” The film traces the American pop singer’s musical acts, from her early music as a gospel singer to being the high-spirited performer in her “California Dreams” concert tour. While the film has a fun and candy-filled aesthetic, it also goes deep to her sad moments as she deals with the breakdown of her marriage with English actor Russell Brand.

‘Whitney: Can I Be Me’ (2017)

Remembering the late Whitney Houston’s musical legacy, “Whitney: Can I Be Me” revisits key moments in the soul singer’s career, such as being discovered by Arista Record’s head Clive Davis and the release of the film “The Bodyguard” in 1992. It also talks about Whitney’s emotional connection with her family and her history of drug abuse.

‘Life Is But A Dream’ (2013)

Beyoncé is not known for being a chatter about her personal life. But in the film “Life Is But A Dream,” the singer breaks down her walls and gives everyone a rare view of what people don’t see onstage. The film goes through her musical works, her marriage with rapper Jay-Z, her miscarriage, the birth of her daughter Blue Ivy, and her professional relationship with her father.

‘Gaga: Five Foot Two’ (2017)

Eclectic and unpredictable, Lady Gaga goes through a state of metamorphosis in the cinéma vérité style film “Gaga: Five Foot Two.” It follows her journey into creating her fifth studio album “Joanne,” her much lauded Super Bowl halftime performance in 2017, her feud with pop legend Madonna, and her battle with fibromyalgia.

‘Britney: For The Record’ (2008)

Unlike the documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” which talks about how people have wronged Britney Spears, “Britney: For The Record” details her comeback to the limelight. In this film, Britney talks about her past relationships, the conservatorship, being round-the-clock hunted by the paparazzi, and her music.