Grammy-winning folk and soul artist Tracy Chapman was just as surprised as everyone else when her classic hit, “Fast Car,” found a new life after three decades and a half since it was originally released.
Chapman released “Fast Car” as the lead single off her 1988 self-titled debut studio album. After performing on the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute, the song quickly gained popularity.
Its harrowing story about a woman trying to break out of poverty and start a life different from the one she’s always known resonated with many listeners. It helped Chapman take home Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. At the same time, the song itself earned nominations in the categories of Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
In addition to that, Chapman’s “Fast Car” reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Luke Combs’ Cover Is Helping Tracy Chapman Make History In Country Music
Apparently, Luke Combs’ “Fast Car” version has risen higher in the charts than that of Tracy Chapman’s. Currently, it sits at the second spot on Billboard Hot 100. And its success doesn’t even end there!
Not only Combs’ version of “Fast Car” is a radio hit, but it is also country music history in the making. The new version actually ranks No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay, making Chapman the first Black female artist – as a song’s solo writer – to top the chart since it came into existence in 1990.
Combs’ “Fast Car” also peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
In an exclusive statement to Billboard, Chapman broke her silence on the renewed popularity of her classic hit. The singer admitted that she never expected to find herself on the country charts and that she couldn’t help but feel honored.
She went on praising the new version, saying, “I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.’” Chapman was the first to congratulate Luke Combs’ success through an Instagram post.
Luke Combs’s Favorite From His Childhood
The song has since become a concert staple on his world tour. And during his stop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the country star shared with the crowd the heartwarming story that inspired him to record the classic hit.
He revealed how the song became a big part of his childhood. He reminisced about his North Carolina upbringing, which included listening to “Fast Car” – over and over – while riding in his father’s brown Ford F-150. In fact, it’s one of the first songs he remembers hearing and the very song he learned to play on a guitar.
It’s also one of the songs he frequently performs on the road, even during college. More recently, Combs did a video of it during the pandemic, where he played in his garage. Since then, fans have encouraged Combs to make it available on streaming platforms. Combs finally gave in and decided it was the right time to do an official version of it.
Fans like Combs developing emotional attachments to “Fast Car” is nothing new for Tracy Chapman. She even recalled people coming up to her to tell her that it was “their song.” “They were saying, ‘You seem to know my story,’” Chapman said.
Anyway, be sure to listen to Luke Combs’ cover of “Fast Car.” You can do it by playing the video below.
Luke Combs, Tracy Chapman