Tracy Chapman’s iconic track “Fast Car” received recognition in the country music realm over three decades after its initial release. The song, first debuted in 1988, clinched the coveted Song of the Year award at the 2023 Country Music Association Awards held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. This historic win marked Chapman as the first Black artist to secure this accolade in the event’s 57-year history.
Despite her absence at the ceremony, Chapman’s gratitude was conveyed through a message read by presenters Bill Anderson and Sara Evans. In her message, Chapman expressed deep appreciation for the newfound recognition of her song after 35 years and extended special thanks to Luke Combs and all the fans of “Fast Car.”
Originally featured on Chapman’s self-titled debut album in 1988, “Fast Car” was praised for its fusion of social commentary with a profoundly personal character portrait. At the 31st Grammy Awards in 1989, Chapman received three Grammy accolades, including Best New Artist and Pop Vocal Performance, Female, for “Fast Car.”
During the recent CMA Awards, Luke Combs also received acclaim for his rendition of “Fast Car,” winning Single of the Year. Combs, visibly moved, expressed gratitude to Chapman for writing one of the best songs of all time. His cover revitalized the single, reaching the pinnacle of Billboard charts in July, marking a significant milestone for Chapman. Combs’ version generated substantial publishing royalties globally, with estimates exceeding $500,000 as of July, a testament to the enduring impact of Chapman’s timeless hit.