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See Tracy Chapman, Who Made a Stunning Cameo at 2024 Grammys, Perform ‘Fast Car’ at 1989 Show

Thirty-five years before she joined Luke Combs onstage at the 66th annual Grammy Awards, Chapman sang her hit on the 31st Grammys and won Best New Artist

Tracy Chapman‘s triumphant return to the Grammy Awards stage at the 2024 ceremony marked her first live television performance in years, but it also coincided with another major milestone: the 35th anniversary of her Grammy Awards debut.

Last night, Chapman took the stage alongside Luke Combs — whose country rendition of “Fast Car” brought history-making success for the song’s original vocalist and songwriter over the past year — in jeans and a black shirt. It was a similarly simple ensemble she donned for her performance of “Fast Car” in 1989, when the record experienced its first wave of success.

That night, at the 31st annual Grammy Awards, Chapman took home three trophies including one for Best New Artist. Her debut album Tracy Chapman was awarded Best Contemporary Folk Recording and “Fast Car” was named Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Combs’ version of “Fast Car” was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance at the 2024 Grammy Awards. Chris Stapleton’s performance of “White Horse” went on to win.


Still, the unexpected boost that Combs’ recording provided led to Chapman becoming the first-ever Black woman to have the sole songwriting credit on a Number One country hit and the first Black songwriter — regardless of gender — to win Song of the Year at the CMA Awards. Following last night’s performance, Chapman’s original 1988 recording of “Fast Car” reached the top of the US iTunes chart for the first time.

“I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there,” Chapman told Billboard last year, speaking for the first time on the country boost the song received after Combs officially released his cover in March. “I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.’”

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