Luke Combs, Tracy Chapman Earn a Standing Ovation With ‘Fast Car’ at the Grammys
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Luke Combs, Tracy Chapman Earn a Standing Ovation With ‘Fast Car’ at the Grammys

Luke Combs brought a very special guest — Tracy Chapman — to the stage of the Grammy Awards on Sunday night (Feb. 4), where the two performed a duet version of “Fast Car.”

Chapman began the performance, strumming an acoustic guitar and smiling broadly as she sang the first verse. Then, the cameras panned over to Combs, who took over vocal duties and grinned back at Chapman.

Combs has made no secret of how much he idolizes Chapman — he’s said that “Fast Car” was his first favorite song — and he was very much the starstruck fan onstage, mouthing Chapman’s verses along as he watched her sing.

“It was my favorite song before I knew what a favorite song was,” Combs said in an interview segment that aired before his performance, explaining the story of how he learned to love Chapman’s original “Fast Car” as a young child listening to it on the stereo system of his dad’s truck.

Reports of the highly-anticipated “surprise” joint performance surfaced last week. It’s the first time the two have performed the song live together, and the first time both artists have sung with one another. Before Sunday night’s show, Chapman had only performed for cameras three times since she wrapped her last tour in 2009.

The Grammys moment was every bit as powerful as it was anticipated. Superstar fans like Taylor Swift, Lainey Wilson and even Oprah Winfrey danced and sang along. When the performance was over, the audience rose in a standing ovation, and Combs bowed down to Chapman onstage.

Combs covered “Fast Car” for his 2023 Gettin’ Old album. His rendition earned him a Grammy nod for Best Country Solo Performance; that trophy ultimately went to Chris Stapleton.

The country star’s version of “Fast Car” has earned both the song and Chapman a few firsts. The song became a No. 1 on the country charts last year, and Chapman said she was “grateful” that a new generation was becoming familiar with her hit and she “never expected” to find herself on the country charts.

The song also won the CMA Award for Song of the Year, which made Chapman the first Black woman to win the award as a solo songwriter. Although she was not present to accept her award, she sent a note of thanks in her place.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be with you all tonight. It’s truly an honor for my song to be newly recognized after 35 years of its debut. Wow,” she wrote. “Thank you to the CMAs and a special thank you to Luke and all of the fans of ‘Fast Car.'”


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