Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

“Fast Car” By Tracy Chapman Is Not About A Car After All

Meaning behind Tracy Chapman's Fast Car

In 1988, Tracy Chapman released “Fast Car” as the lead single off her self-titled debut album. At the time, Chapman was still a little-known singer-songwriter playing at the bars and cafes around Tufts University. However, things changed when she appeared at Nelson Mandela’s 70th Birthday Tribute at Wembley Stadium.

After Stevie Wonder could not perform at the event following a programming mishap, Chapman, who was unknown to many people back then, filled the gap – performing twice on the stage that day. 

The appearance, without a doubt, shot Chapman to stardom. In fact, just a few days later, “Fast Car” ranked No. 6 on Billboard Hot 100 while peaking at No. 7 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. 

The song was also a hit in several other countries, such as Canada, Belgium, Ireland, and the Netherlands. It even reached No. 5 on the UK Singles chart.

However, the song’s success did not end there. “Fast Car” also earned nominations during the 1989 Grammy Award in the Song of the Year and Record of the Year categories while taking home the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance award.

Since then, “Fast Car” has been covered by many popular artists such as Justin Bieber and Luke Combs.

Meaning Behind The Song

“Fast Car” is an ode about two young lovers yearning for a new life – which unfortunately did not work out as they hoped “because it’s starting from the wrong place,” Tracy Chapman said.

She wrote the acoustic ballad late one evening in 1986 in an effort to capture “the world as I saw it when I was growing up in Cleveland, Ohio,” she revealed. 

RELATED: Luke Combs’ Cover Of The 1988 Pop Hit “Fast Car” Has Fans Buzzing

She pondered that she might have been thinking about her parents when writing the song, going through the first time her mother and father met when they were young and their burning desire to begin a new life together. 

Indeed, Tracy Chapman proves she got stories to tell. You can listen to “Fast Car” by playing the video below.

Latest Stories

Travis Tritt + Help Me Hold On

Travis Tritt Begs His Lover For One More Chance In “Help Me Hold On”

Country singer Travis Tritt scored his first number-one hit with his second release from his 1990 debut album Country Club titled “Help Me Hold On.” He co-wrote it with accomplished ...

Carrie Underwood Falls Off Stage on Tail End of South Carolina Concert

Carrie Underwood Rocks Carolina Country Music Fest Despite Rain

Country singer Carrie Underwood graced the last day stage of the Carolina Country Music Fest 2024 in Myrtle Beach and delivered one hell of a performance despite the massive downpour. ...

Billy Ray Cyrus Files for Divorce from Firerose, Seeks Annulment on Grounds of Fraud

Billy Ray Cyrus Files for Divorce from Firerose, Cites Fraud

American country singer Billy Ray Cyrus reached a breaking point with Australian singer Firerose just after seven months of marriage. According to court documents obtained by the Associated Press, Billy ...

Travis Tritt + Best of Intentions

Travis Tritt Made A Career Comeback With “Best of Intentions”

It was 2000, and it had been six years since Travis Tritt hit the top of the charts and three since his last appearance in the Top 10. The first ...

Sonny James Death

A Moment To Remember: Country Singer Sonny James’ Death At 87

Country singer Sonny James, known for his 1957 track “Young Love,” which topped both country and pop charts, passed away on February 22, 2016, at Nashville’s Alive Hospice. According to ...

Wynonna Sings Coal Miner's Daughter with Loretta Lynn's Granddaughter Emmy Russell - Idol

Wynonna Judd Joins Emmy Russell On Idol To Sing “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Emmy Russell started her American Idol journey with an original song. She fittingly ended it with a tribute cover of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for her late grandmother and country legend ...

Johnny Cash + Forty Shades of Green

“Forty Shades of Green”: Johnny Cash’s Ode to Ireland

Country legend Johnny Cash released an ode to Ireland appreciating its beauty with “Forty Shades of Green” as part of his album Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash ...

Randy Travis A Country Legend's Fight for His Voice and His Legacy

What Happened to Randy Travis After Massive Stroke and Dire Financial Situation?

What happened to Randy Travis? That has been the question of many of his fans after his massive stroke in 2013.  Randy Travis is a legend and an icon in ...

5 Must-Hear Lainey Wilson Collaborations

Here Are 5 Lainey Wilson Collaborations You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

Country singer Lainey Wilson’s discography isn’t just a string of solo hits. Over the years, she has also steadily stacked up her collaboration resume — earning several number ones from ...

Lukas Nelson And Sierra Ferrell + Crying Time

Lukas Nelson & Sierra Ferrell Harmonize on Buck Owens’ “Crying Time”

Buck Owen’s 1964 track “Crying Time,” popularized by Ray Charles, is making waves again after Lukas Nelson and Sierra Ferrell shared a casual snippet of their take on the song.  ...