Tracy Chapman’s original ‘Fast Car’ tops iTunes after Grammys performance

Tracy Chapman’s duet with Luke Combs on her signature song during Sunday’s Grammy Awards had an immediate impact.

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“Fast Car,” released by Chapman in 1988, by Monday had rocketed to No. 1 on the iTunes store after her surprise appearance, Entertainment Weekly reported. Her self-titled album from the same year also vaulted to the top spot, according to the entertainment news website.

The song by the reclusive Chapman gained traction in 2023 when Combs released a country version of the folk tune on his “Gettin’ Old” album, Entertainment Tonight reported.

Chapman’s original song peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after its release, according to NPR. She closed the Grammys in 1989 with the song, according to CNN. The record won a Grammy that year for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance, Billboard reported.

Combs’ version peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 chart and was nominated for a Grammy this year for Best Country Solo Song. The song lost out to Chris Stapleton’s “White Horse.”

The 1988 version slid to No. 2 later Monday as it was replaced by Miley Cyrus, whose song, “Flowers,” won Record of the Year honors.

Chapman, who has been nominated for 13 Grammys and has won four times, has fiercely protected how her music has been used by other artists, Entertainment Weekly reported. She won a $450,000 lawsuit in 2021 against Nicki Minaj when the rapper sampled Chapman’s song “Babe Can I Hold You” against her wishes.

After their performance, Chapman and Combs bowed to each other and then embraced as they received a standing ovation.

In a video shown during the show before the performance, Combs discussed the impact that Chapman’s song has had since he was a child, NPR reported.

“That song, ‘Fast Car’, it was my favorite song before I even knew what a favorite song was,” Combs said. “It can be felt and related to by all kinds of people around the world.

“It’s just such a cool full circle moment for me. Just to be associated with her in any way is super humbling for me.”

Chapman became the first Black artist to win a Country Music Association song of the year award for “Fast Car.”

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