Tracy Chapman Makes History With CMAs’ Win

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26: Musician Tracy Chapman performs on stage during
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Tracy Chapman had a memorable evening last night. The singer-songwriter received the CMA Award for Song of Year for her song “Fast Car.” Country singer Luke Combs recorded “Fast Car” this year and brought the iconic song to new audiences. It was first released by Chapman 35 years ago and has since become a classic hit. She received a Grammy for Best Female Vocal Pop Performance in 1989.

Not only did Chapman make history by winning an award for a song she released in 1988 but became the first Black songwriter to win Song of the Year. Chapman was not at the 57th annual CMAs to receive the award in person as she is a notoriously private person. However, she did release a statement that presenter Sara Evans read at the ceremony.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 16: Tracy Chapman attends the Beverly Hills Bar Association's Entertainment Lawyer of the Year Dinner at Beverly Hills Hotel on April 16, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California

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Her statement read, “I’m sorry I couldn’t join you all tonight. It’s truly an honor for my song to be newly recognized after 35 years of its debut. Thank you to the CMAs and a special thanks to Luke and all of the fans of ‘Fast Car.’”

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 08: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Luke Combs poses in the press room during the 57th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 08, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee

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Combs thanked Chapman for allowing him to cover the song and opened up about what the song meant to him. He shared, “This song has meant, for me, throughout my entire life, it’s something that reminds me of me and my dad, and it’s the song that I’ll play for my son, and a song that ultimately that will go down in my history too. It’ll be synonymous with me now as well, which is insane to think about because it’s meant so much to me so I would just tell her thank you and congratulations.” He added that it is “one of the best songs of all time.”

Combs has previously revealed that Chapman does receive royalties for his version of the song. Listen to both versions below and tell us your favorite!

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Queens of Country

November 2019

Get your toes-tapping as we give a nod to the queens of classic country music.

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