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1 February 2024, 12:28
Tracy Chapman is one of the most successful and celebrated singer-songwriters of her generation.
Bursting onto the scene in the late 1980s, her brand of acoustic pop-rock was a huge success around the world.
Here are the important facts about the talented musician:
Tracy Chapman was born on March 30, 1964. She celebrated her 59th birthday in 2023.
She 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 - Fast Car (Live)
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'.
Tracy Chapman - Baby Can I Hold You (Official Music Video)
Tracy Chapman has never publicly spoken about her relationships or sexual orientation.
During the mid-1990s, she was known to be 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."
Tracy Chapman Makes Rare TV Appearance With Performance of ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution’ | 11/3/20
While Tracy Chapman has not retired, she has not released any original music since 2008.
However, she made a rare public return by appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers in November 2020, performing 'Talkin' about a Revolution' from home.
She said in 2015: “Being in the public eye and under the glare of the spotlight was, and it still is, to some extent, uncomfortable for me, but there are some ways by which everything that has happened in my life has prepared me for this career. But I am bit shy.
“I love books, I love reading, and I basically grew up in a public library. I’ve always loved poetry, music was always in the house, and there was such a range of different music around."
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.