“I Fangirled For Sure” — Luke Combs Talks About Meeting Tracy Chapman For The First Time

Tracy Chapman Luke Combs country music
Luke Combs/IG

Luke Combs and Tracy Chapman turned in the performance of the year at the Grammy Awards this year.

Of course, they took the stage to perform what’s become a mega crossover hit in Chapman’s “Fast Car,” which is a song originally written and recorded by Chapman in 1988.

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 last Sunday 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.

Back in February, Luke took to Instagram to share a sweet post about how special it was to meet and perform with her:

And on an episode of the God’s Country podcast today, Luke gave some great insight on what it was like to actually meet Tracy and how he didn’t even think they’d get to perform together to begin with.

She is hard to get in touch with, which Luke says is probably for a reason, but his team found away for them to connect and talk about a potential performance on a call:

“I wanted to treat that song and Tracy with as much reverence as I thought that the song and she deserved. Right.

I didn’t want it to look like, oh, well, I recorded this song so that I could make money off of it or I can say I did this or I did that. Never about that, right? It’s just about loving a song that meant a lot to you. And maybe that’s what resonated.

But I remember I was like, man, that’s not going to happen, dude. You know what I mean? She’s hard to get in touch with for a reason. She doesn’t want to be in touch with, I think. You know what I mean? I can’t speak for her. But that’s what I would think.

I don’t even think she has a manager or anything, like, any kind of any of that, like, traditional channels, connections to the business… I don’t want her to do something she doesn’t want to do because I don’t want to do stuff I don’t want to do. I was shocked. I’m here.”

Luke also admitted that he “fangirled” getting to talk to Chapman, asking her questions about music, in awe that he was able to have that kind of conversation with one of his heroes.

He said that they had a real connection on that call, and a few weeks later, she agreed to do that Grammy’s performance:

“It was just really easy, man. We just talked about music, talked about that song.

I fangirled for sure, asking her about how’d you make this record and why’d you decide to do this, which is awesome to get, to have know, you hardly ever get to have those conversations with people that you admire. And so that was really cool, man.

And I feel like we just connected on that call. And she agreed to do it. A few weeks later, she agreed to do it. Flew out to Los Angeles on a Tuesday. Obviously, the show was on Sunday. We rehearsed for a couple of days. Just that, just to get it right, get it perfect.”

And get it perfect they very much did.

Selfishly, I’m so glad she agreed to do it, because I’m still in awe at how magically stunning it was… like, not to be dramatic, but it kind of changed my life:

You can listen to “God’s Country” as a co-production of iHeartPodcasts and MeatEater, Inc. here:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock