On Air Now
Smooth Breakfast with Jenni Falconer 6am - 10am
Tracy Chapman is successful and celebrated singer-songwriters of her generation. Here are all the big facts about the American musician.
Tracy Chapman was born on March 30, 1964. She celebrates her 55th birthday in 2019.
Tracy Chapman was born in Cleveland, Ohio in the US. She was raised by her mother, who recognized her love of music from a young age, and despite not having much money, bought her a ukulele when she was just three.
Tracy Chapman is best known for her hits 'Fast Car' and 'Give Me One Reason', along with other singles 'Talkin' 'bout a Revolution', 'Baby Can I Hold You', 'Crossroads', 'New Beginning' and 'Telling Stories'.
The 1988 single from her debut self-titled album tells a story of a working poor woman trying to escape her cycle of poverty. After her appearance on the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute, it became an international hit and sparked her career.
Tracy Chapman has released eight studio albums since her debut in 1988. Her most recent album is 2008's 'Our Bright Future'.
As of May 2018, Tracy Chapman hasn't announced any upcoming tour dates. In 2015, she said: “I haven’t retired yet. However, at the moment there are no plans for a tour. I think it’s nice not being on tour these days. It does take something away from everyday life, and I just appreciate being home.”
Tracy Chapman has never publicly disclosed her sexual orientation. During the mid-1990s, she was in a relationship with writer Alice Walker. Chapman has often spoken of a strong separation between her personal and professional life, saying: "I have a public life that's my work life and I have my personal life. In some ways, the decision to keep the two things separate relates to the work I do."
Chapman is known to be a politically and socially active musician. In 2009, she said: "I'm approached by lots of organizations and lots of people who want me to support their various charitable efforts in some way. And I look at those requests and I basically try to do what I can. And I have certain interests of my own, generally an interest in human rights." In 1988, she performed in London as part of a worldwide concert tour to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Tracy Chapman has performed with a number of big stars over the years. These have included Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, BB King, Dave Matthews, Sting, Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel.
Tracy Chapman is estimated to have a net worth of approximately $8 million (£6.01 million).