Tracy Chapman Makes Rare Appearance To Sing Her Hit From 1988 With Luke Combs

ByQuyen Anne

Feb 6, 2024

Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” raced up the iTunes charts after she sang her hit from 1988 on Sunday’s Grammy Awards with country music star Luke Combs, who recorded the song last year.

Just moments after Chapman, 59, and Combs, 33, finished singing the song, “Fast Car” shot to No. 1 on the iTunes Top Songs chart — 36 years after it was released on Chapman’s debut album, “Tracy Chapman.”

The song initially reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. According to a report on NPR, Chapman performed it at the Grammys when she won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the song at the 1989 Grammys.

Combs released his version last year. It reached No. 2 on the Hot 100 chart and snared a Grammy nomination this year but did not win.

“I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there,” Chapman said last July to Billboard. “I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.’ ”

Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs performed Chapman's 1988 hit "Fast Car" at Sunday night's Grammy Awards in LA.
Chapman and Combs performed Chapman’s 1988 hit “Fast Car” at Sunday’s Grammy Awards in LA.Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Tracy Chapman made a surprise appearance at Sunday night's Grammy Awards to sing her 1988 hit "Fast Car," which rocketed up the iTunes charts immediately afterward.
“Fast Car” raced up the iTunes charts immediately afterward.Getty Images for The Recording Academy

In November, Chapman won Song of the Year for “Fast Car,” becoming the first black woman to win a Country Music Association award.

She also won a lifetime achievement award at the International Folk Music Awards, according to NPR.

Chapman’s appearance at the Grammys was applauded by the crowd at the Arena in LA. At the same time that Chapman and Combs sang, the cameras cut to Taylor Swift and Jelly Roll, who were standing and singing along, causing Chapman to smile.

The cover for Tracy Chapman's 1988 song "Fast Car." She performed the song at the 1989 Grammy Awards.
The cover for Chapman’s 1988 song “Fast Car.”Tracy Chapman

After their performance, Chapman and Combs turned to each other and bowed as they received a standing ovation. In a video shown on the Grammys prior to their performance, Combs spoke about the song and what it meant to him.

“That song, ‘Fast Car’, it was my favorite song before I even knew what a favorite song was,” Combs said. “It can be felt and related to by all kinds of people around the world.

Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs on stage to perform "Fast Car" at the 66th Grammys at Arena Sunday night.
Chapman and Combs onstage at the Grammys Sunday.Getty Images for The Recording Academy

“It’s just such a cool full-circle moment for me,” he said. “Just to be associated with [Chapman] in any way is super humbling for me.”

Chapman has kept a low performing profile of late and also keeps wraps on her personal life.

She has been linked to various people over the years — including Alice Walker, who said they were in a relationship in the 1990s, according to People magazine.

But Chapman has never commented on her relationship status — and it’s unclear if she is married, according to the report.

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