Luke Combs and Tracy Chapman are gearing up to take the Grammy stage tonight, performing her 1988 song, “Fast Car.”
Originally written and recorded by Tracy Chapman, “Fast Car” was released in 1988 as the lead single from her 1988 self-titled debut studio album, and at the 31st annual Grammy Awards in 1989, she won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Fast Car,” best contemporary folk album for Tracy Chapman and best new artist.
“Fast Car” was also nominated for record and song of the year, while Tracy Chapman received a nomination for album of the year.
Of course, Luke Combs has been covering the song for a number of years, and for a number of years we’ve been begging him to record it. He did, threw it on his last record, and despite initially not pushing the song it all, it’s become a mega-hit for Luke as well.
And despite a small but obnoxious group of people complaining about it, Tracy Chapman herself gave the stamp of approval after it shot up the country charts in just 11 weeks.
“Fast Car” by @lukecombs is the #1 song on Billboard Country Airplay this week.
Only took 11 weeks charting to reach #1, which ties “Last Night” for its quick chart climb to #1.
Luke’s 16th career #1 at country radio and 15th #1 on Billboard Country Airplay.
“Fast Car” has been an absolute juggernaut at country radio, flying up the charts at an insane pace pretty much completely organically, so much so that his label actually sent it to Top 40 pop and Hot Adult Contemporary radio, as well.
After it went #1 on the country charts, Tracy Chapman also became first ever black woman to reach the number one spot on the country charts as a sole writer of a song. And to be even more specific, it is only the second time since 1990 that a black songwriter topped the list as the only credited writer on the track.
And while all of that success is clearly a great thing for Luke, and Tracy’s bank account if nothing else, people have been wondering what she really thinks of the cover and how the song has absolutely blown up.
Tracy revealed to Billboard that she’s “happy for Luke” and how well the song is doing, adding that she’s excited that an entirely new audience of fans have found and embraced “Fast Car.”
She added that she “never expected” to find herself on the country charts, saying it’s an “honor” to be there:
“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.’”
There ya have it, folks.
It sounds like Tracy is as impressed by the way Luke has turned this song into a mega hit as much as we all are, and I have to imagine it’s gotta be nice to be getting those royalty checks now, too.
As a songwriter, it’s got to be pretty cool to have your solo-penned tune reaching an entirely new generation of fans, no matter what genre it’s in. And Luke previously said he wanted to be “mega respectful” in the way he went about recording Tracy’s song, which I’m sure she appreciates, as well.
A great song is a great song, no matter what genre, year or decade you hear it in, and luckily, we’ll get to hear both of them together, tonight at the Grammys where the song is nominated once more.