(Left) Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images / (Right) Amy Sussman / Getty Images for Stagecoach
This is the news many music lovers have wanted to hear. Rolling Stone confirmed Tracy Chapman will join Luke Combs at the upcoming Grammys to perform her iconic song, “Fast Car.”
Chapman released “Fast Car” in 1988. The song, solely written by Chapman, reached the #1 spot on the charts in countries such as Belgium, Canada, Portugal, and the Netherlands. It reached the 19th spot on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart in the U.S.
“Fast Car” earned three nominations at the Grammys: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Chapman won the award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Chapman finished her last tour in 2009. According to Variety, she has only performed for cameras three times since then.
Luke Combs often performed “Fast Car” during his live shows. Fans begged him to record the song for years, and he finally did. His version appeared on his 2023 album Gettin’ Old.
Combs released “Fast Car” as a single in April 2023, and it took off. The song topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, making history in the process. Chapman became the first black woman to have the sole songwriting credit on a #1 country song.
Combs’ version of “Fast Car” also reached the top spot on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. It was one of the most popular songs of 2023, and has already been certified 2× Platinum by the RIAA.
Combs’ version of “Fast Car” later won two trophies at the 2023 CMA Awards. It won the awards for Single and Song of the Year.
The CMA’s Song of the Year award is presented to the songwriter. So that trophy went to Chapman. She made history as the first Black woman to ever win a CMA Award.
Chapman was not present to accept the award in person. But she did send in a message, which presenter Sara Evans read aloud:
“I’m sorry I couldn’t join you all tonight, but it is truly an honor for my song to be newly recognized after 35 years since it’s debut. Thank you to the CMAs and a special thanks to Luke and all of the fans of ‘Fast Car.'”
Prior to the CMA Awards, Chapman shared her thoughts about Combs’ cover of her timeless song. She told Billboard:
“I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there. I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.‘”
In his own interview, Combs shared his admiration for Chapman and how touched he was by her statement:
“Tracy Chapman wrote this perfect song that that I first heard with my dad and it has stayed with me since,” he said. “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!“
At the time, Combs’ manager Chris Kappy told Billboard, “We would be more than excited if the opportunity arose for Tracy and Luke to perform the song together.”
That opportunity came up now, as Chapman will join Combs to perform “Fast Car” at the Grammys on Sunday, February 4. Combs’ version of the song is nominated for the Best Country Solo Performance Award.
Celebrate the big news about Chapman and Combs’ upcoming duet by watching Chapman perform “Fast Car” below.