Darlene Love, whose legendary career as a backup singer was chronicled in the Oscar-winning documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” finished her talk at Thursday’s Simmons Leadership Conference early enough to catch some of the other big speakers.
“That lady that just went on?” Love said, of fellow speaker Arianna Huffington. “Man, she was wonderful. I was so glad I got to see and hear her.”
Love, who checked in with us before the conference’s afternoon sessions, said she planned to stick around to see Sally Field give the day’s keynote address. She also said she’d be spending another day in Boston, but planned to relax at her hotel.
“When someone gives me that opportunity to do nothing, I do nothing,” said Love, who’s backed the Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra. “I sit in my room and have Darlene Love time. I love a great massage and I love steam.”
Last year, Oprah Winfrey picked up the rights to Love’s story and announced plans to make a movie about her life. At one point Toni Braxton was set to star in the film, but Love implied that casting is still up in the air.
“You have to be careful,” she said. “The fans that we talked to want to hear me do my own singing. They don’t care who plays me, but they want me to do my own singing.”
She said the movie “What’s Love Got to Do With It” is a good model; Angela Bassett starred as Tina Turner, but it was Turner who rerecorded her own songs.
“Angela Bassett — she was great in it. And she didn’t try to sing.”
Other speakers at the Simmons event included Latina magazine founder Christy Haubegger, NFL Chief Marketing Officer Dawn Hudson, and financial journalist Farnoosh Torabi. The day ended with the keynote from Field, moderated by Joyce Kulhawik. The day’s proceeds will benefit scholarships for students in graduate programs at Simmons College.