I’m convinced that Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs heal the nation…
On Sunday evening, they took the Grammy Awards stage to perform a stunning duet of “Fast Car,” a song originally written and recorded by Chapman in 1988, but that both of them have found a ton of success with.
The fan reaction was extremely positive, and in my very humble opinion, it was easily the performance of the night and one we’re going to be talking about for decades to come. The admiration the two artists have for each other was apparent as Chapman looked genuinely happy to be there and kept smiling at Luke throughout the entire thing (and vice versa).
While maybe an unlikely duo in some aspects, they’re spectacular together, and it’s evident that an entirely new generation of fans are loving both versions of “Fast Car,” as Chapman’s original version of the song shot to the top of the U.S. iTunes chart after their performance (Luke’s previously went #1 at country radio and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100).
Easily the coolest thing about the whole thing, many people have started going back and listening to Tracy’s timeless catalog as a result, which landed her original version of “Fast Car” at the top of the iTunes charts earlier this week.
After the passing of Toby Keith, some of his singles and albums obviously started charting and bumped her down a spot, but the official number in terms of download sales is in now, and according to chart data, Chapman’s “Fast Car” is up 38,000% following her Grammy performance.
Just an astronomical number and very well-deserved for an extremely talented artist who penned one of the greatest songs of all-time:
The single is currently at #2 on the iTunes songs chart, with Luke’s cover at #5:
And her self-titled debut from 1988 is at #2 on the albums chart for iTunes:
Luke included his cover of “Fast Car” on his 2023 Gettin’ Old record, and it organically became a massive hit and juggernaut at country radio, flying up the country charts at an insane pace, so much so that his label actually sent it to Top 40 pop and Hot Adult Contemporary radio, as well.
Released in 1988, it was the lead single from Chapman’s aforementioned self-titled debut studio album. 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.
The song was nominated in the Best Country Solo Performance category this year, but Chris Stapleton ultimately took home that trophy for “White Horse.”
And actually, Chapman’s performance Sunday night marked the first time she’d appeared live to sing for the first time in nine years, and it’s hard to put into words just how incredible it was.
She sounded exactly the same as she did on the original recording from 1988, and there was a palpable magic between them that I cannot get enough of.
Like Willie Nelson says, “If a song was ever good, it’s still good,” and this is an all-time great one that works in any decade, genre and always will. Congratulations to Tracy on a really amazing achievement with this song, and to both artists on pulling off what was one of the greatest Grammy performances of all time.
You can watch it here, and I’d highly recommend doing so:
This gave me goosebumps and then reduced me to tears. A beautiful performance by Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs. Music has the power to lift us up to a higher plane doesn’t it?! 🌟🌟 pic.twitter.com/Kld3PjDWar