Thirty-Five Years (Too Late) Chapman Finally Receives a Nod

( – Tracy Chapman, the legendary singer-songwriter, has marked a historic victory, earning the Song of the Year award at the Country Music Association awards, 35 years after her song “Fast Car” was first released. This accolade has etched Chapman’s name in the annals of history as the first black songwriter to win the prestigious award at the CMAs.

Chapman, who was not physically present at the awards, expressed her deep gratitude for the honor, stating that it was truly remarkable for her song to garner such recognition three and a half decades after its debut. Sara Evans, the presenter of the award show, conveyed the statement.

Luke Combs, whose cover rendition of “Fast Car” also clinched him the Single of the Year award, didn’t fail to pay homage to Chapman, lauding her for crafting one of the finest songs ever. His affection for the song was evident when he disclosed that it had been his favorite since childhood.

Interestingly, this wasn’t the first time “Fast Car” had achieved widespread recognition. When released in 1988, it catapulted Chapman to stardom, earning her six Grammy nominations and three Grammy wins in 1989. The timeless hit has been revived by several musicians over the years, with two notable versions by Tobtok and Jonas Blue making their mark in 2015.

Chapman’s original version was also revived in the UK in 2011 when Britain’s Got Talent contestant Michael Collings performed it on the show. The performance led to the song reentering the UK charts at an impressive No. 4.

Luke Combs’ cover on his album “Gettin’ Old” was released earlier this year. There was also a live rendition of the song released in August as a single. It has enjoyed a successful run, climbing to the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and currently residing at No. 2.

This recognition means that Chapman, the sole songwriter of “Fast Car,” has made her way back to the Billboard charts for the first time since 1996.

Despite not releasing new music since her 2008 album “Our Bright Future,” Chapman made a rare appearance in 2020 on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” where she performed her 1988 hit “Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution.”

“Fast Car” has remained a classic over the years. In 1988, it peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and in 2004, Rolling Stone included it in its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list at No. 165.

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