Tracy Chapman makes triumphant comeback with live 'Fast Car' performance with Luke Combs at Grammys

5 February 2024, 08:43 | Updated: 6 February 2024, 11:26

Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs at the Grammys
Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs at the Grammys. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

The 66th Grammy Awards were full of memorable moments.

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But one of the most talked-about performances was the unexpected collaboration between folk legend Tracy Chapman and country star Luke Combs.

The two singers joined forces to sing Chapman's classic hit 'Fast Car', which has been revived by Combs' successful cover in 2023.

The duet was a surprise for many fans, as Chapman has been largely absent from the public eye for years. She last released an album in 2008 and has rarely performed live since then.

Combs, on the other hand, has been one of the most dominant forces in country music, with nine consecutive number one singles and multiple awards.

GRAMMYs: Tracy Chapman Makes RARE Appearance to Sing Fast Car With Luke Combs

Their voices blended beautifully as they sang the poignant lyrics about escaping a life of hardship and chasing a dream with a lover.

The audience at the Arena in Los Angeles was clearly moved by the performance, as they cheered loudly and gave a standing ovation to the duo. Among the celebrities who showed their appreciation were Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson. Host Trevor Noah also praised Chapman, calling her "the legendary Tracy Chapman" and thanking her for gracing the stage.

Before the performance, Combs expressed his admiration for Chapman in a video tribute, saying that she was "such an icon" and "one of the greatest artists" he had ever seen. He also said that it was a "full circle moment" for him to be associated with her in any way.

'Fast Car' was originally released by Chapman in 1988, as the lead single from her self-titled debut album. The song was a critical and commercial success, earning Chapman a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

66th GRAMMY Awards - Show
66th GRAMMY Awards - Show. Picture: Getty
66th GRAMMY Awards - Show
66th GRAMMY Awards - Show. Picture: Getty

The song has been covered by many artists over the years, but none as successfully as Combs, who gave it a country twist and made it his own.

His version topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and won the CMA Award for Song of the Year in 2023, making Chapman the first black woman to receive that honour.

Luke Combs interview: Ed Sheeran friendship, 'Fast Car' cover and more!

The Grammys performance was a rare opportunity for fans to see Chapman and Combs share their mutual respect and admiration for each other, and to witness a musical moment that transcended genres and generations.

It was also a reminder of the timeless power and appeal of 'Fast Car', a song that has touched millions of hearts and inspired countless dreams.