The 66th Annual Grammy Awards aired last night, honoring the music industry's best artists, composers, producers, and more. While pop stars like Taylor Swift celebrated a historic fourth win of the Best Album of the Year category and Miley Cyrus picked up her very first Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance, there was one seasoned artist who performed a hit she first debuted in 1988 (before Swift or Cyrus were even born). Tracy Chapman's “Fast Car” has resonated with multiple generations since its release over 35 years ago. Now, it's been having a bit of a renaissance thanks to country singer Luke Combs' cover of the song.
A few months ago, Chapman become the very first Black musician to win Song of the Year at the Country Music Awards for this new rendition of her timeless track. The song, which won Chapman a Grammy back in 1989, also earned a Grammy nomination this year. Combs was invited to perform the song at the live Grammys ceremony and the audience was visibly and audibly delighted to see Chapman up there with him. As the “Give Me One Reason” artist began to sing, it was clear from her expression that she was emotional and touched by the outpouring of love for her. Though it didn't hinder her performance—no waver in her voice could be heard—it was a moment that all who watched could feel. Her gratitude was palpable.
Since the performance, Chapman's “Fast Car” has skyrocketed to the #1 spot on iTunes in the U.S. It's been nearly 36 years since its release and now there's not only a multitude of nostalgic people who are reliving their youth through this transportive song, but also a whole new generation discovering the genius of Chapman. The response to the song and the artist behind it has been huge, to say the least; but, as many point out, it isn't that big of a surprise. As one fan on X (formerly Twitter) states, “Nothing crazy about one of the greatest songs in songwriting history doing well! But it's great to see it back!”
Tracy Chapman's 1988 hit song “Fast Car” has been having a renaissance thanks to its new rendition by country singer Luke Combs.
At the 66th Annual Grammy Awards, Chapman took to the stage with Combs to perform her beloved song and she was visibly moved by the outpouring of love.
The look on Tracy Chapman's face when the crowd realizes its her https://t.co/8jzMYjnOYv
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) February 5, 2024
The audience was beyond excited to see the artist in a rare performance and made it known on social media.
Your performance was amazing. Always brings a tear to my eye. Nice to see you back!
— The Raccfather (@lucasj8) February 5, 2024
Since the duet, Chapman's “Fast Car” has climbed the iTunes charts in the U.S. and reached the #1 spot.
This is crazy!! https://t.co/H40DiwtLYF
— Tracy Chapman (@tchapmanonline) February 5, 2024
Though it's been nearly 36 years since it first debuted, fans are not surprised by the timeless track's resurgence in popularity.
Nothing crazy about one of the greatest songs in songwriting history doing well!
But it's great to see it back!
— D.C. Pennington (@DCPenningtonArt) February 5, 2024