Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Tracy Chapman always harboured the belief that she “could be someone.” However, back in 1988 when she released “Fast Car,” could the folk singer have foreseen sharing the stage at the 66th Grammy Awards with country artist Luke Combs for a performance of their now-iconic rendition of the song?

During the performance, Chapman and Combs alternated in the spotlight, harmonizing beautifully during the chorus. The culmination of their performance brought the audience to their feet, showering them with thunderous applause. Host Trevor Noah rushed to the stage to express gratitude to Chapman, exclaiming, “The legendary Tracy Chapman, everybody! Thank you so much for that!”

Prior to the performance, Combs spoke about Chapman’s legendary status in a video centred around the song. “Tracy Chapman is such an icon, and one of the greatest artists that I think any of us will be lucky enough to see,” the country singer expressed. “It’s a full-circle moment for me. Just to be associated with her in any way is super humbling for me.”

Combs’ cover ascended to the top spot on Billboard Hot Country Songs and earned the CMA Award for Song of the Year — a historic moment as the first time a Black woman received that honour.

Chapman, who hadn’t performed publicly in several years, made a significant return with this appearance at the Grammys. Although “Fast Car” had previously earned Chapman a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1989, along with nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, this moment marked a landmark return for the acclaimed singer-songwriter.

Following last night’s performance, Chapman’s original version of the song has shot to #1 on the U.S. iTunes chart.

Filed under: black-history-month