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Legendary guitarist and singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman is finally making history with one of her most popular songs.  

This week Chapman’s 1988 hit single “Fast Car” reached No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart, making her the first Black woman to top the chart since it was created in 1990. 

The song gained new popularity after country star Luke Combs covered the hit, pushing it in front of a brand new generation of young folks. The song also reached  No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Songwriters Chart. 

“I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there,” Chapman said during an interview with Billboard. “I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.’”

Chapman isn’t a stranger to success and neither is her song “Fast Car.” 

When the song was released on April 6, 1988, as the lead single to her debut self-titled album, the song received three Grammy nominations, winning one for Best Female pop vocal Performance as well as Record Of The Year honors. The album garnered worldwide acclaim, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Chapman also won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and an MTV Video Music Award a year later. She even performed the song at Nelson Mandela’s 70th Birthday Tribute where she was surprised by Stevie Wonder. “Fast Car” would eventually peak at #1 in 5 countries. 

Luke Combs isn’t the only famous singer to cover Chapman’s hit song.  Sam Smith, Justin Bieber, Jonas Blue and Dakota and Khalid have all covered the track in their respective music genres.

Chapman’s style has always been an eclectic mix of folk and rock. Another hit from the album titled,  “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution” also took off on the charts during the early 1990s. Chapman’s music was ahead of its time, but it has been her personality that’s been elusive. Rarely doing interviews, Chapman has been able to keep her life out of the public eye. 

But with the charting of her most popular song hopefully, folks recognize the genius of Tracy Chapman. 

As for Luke Combs, he hasn’t had much to say about the song’s newfound success from his cover but told the New York Post that he’s grateful his fans embraced the song.

“I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car,’” said Combs.

According to Billboard, Chapman has earned approximately $500,000 in publishing royalties since Combs’ album dropped in March.


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