(Left) Folk & Country on MV / YouTube / (Right) Luke Combs / Twitter
The Tracy Chapman song “Fast Car” reached the sixth spot on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart when she released it in 1988. It earned three Grammy nominations, and Chapman won the award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Notably, Chapman wrote “Fast Car” on her own, with no co-writer.
Many artists have covered “Fast Car” through the years, including country music star Luke Combs. Combs included the song in his concert sets years ago, and fans loved his rendition.
Combs finally recorded “Fast Car” and released his version this year (2023). It quickly became one of the best-performing songs of the year so far.
Combs’ cover reached the #2 spot on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100…higher than Chapman’s original peaked in 1988. Additionally, his version claimed the #1 spot on the Country Airplay chart, and remains in that spot three weeks later.
Chapman became the first black woman to earn a #1 Country Airplay hit as a solo songwriter. She reacted to Combs’ rendition in a statement provided to Billboard.
“I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there,” she said. “I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.'”
As a longtime fan of Chapman’s, Combs was touched by her words of support. He reacted to her statement in his own interview with Billboard.
“Oh man, ‘Fast Car’ has surprised me more than you can imagine. Tracy Chapman wrote this perfect song that that I first heard with my dad and it has stayed with me since. I have played it in my live show now for six-plus years and everyone — I mean everyone — across all these stadiums relates to this song and sings along. That’s the gift of a supernatural song writer. The success of my cover is unreal and I think it’s so cool that Tracy is getting recognized and has reached new milestones. I love that she is out there feeling all the love and that she gave me a shout-out! Thank you, Tracy!”
Combs’ manager, Chris Kappy, also provided a statement to Billboard. Kappy addressed the possibility of Combs and Chapman singing “Fast Car” together, saying, “We would be more than excited if the opportunity arose for Tracy and Luke to perform the song together.”
A lot of fans would love to see that happen!