Tracy Chapman’s song “Fast Car” received long overdue recognition at this year’s Country Music Association Awards. After over three decades, Luke Combs helped introduce the impactful track to a new generation of country fans. His emotional cover of the 1988 hit earned the honors of CMA Song of the Year and Single of the Year.

This marked an historic occasion as Chapman became the first Black artist to win the CMA’s top Song of the Year prize. Though unable to attend, her gratitude was conveyed for finally being acknowledged for the song after 35 years.

In accepting his awards, Combs paid respects to Chapman for crafting “one of the best songs ever.” He shared how much the lyrics have resonated with him since childhood. Combs revealed he was drawn to record “Fast Car” simply because he loved the song so deeply from age 4.

When originally released, “Fast Car” achieved substantial success. Chapman received 6 Grammy nominations in 1989, taking home three including Best New Artist. The song peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Combs’ recent live rendition brought renewed spotlight that shot it to #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, its first Billboard appearance in over 20 years.

Both Chapman’s profound songwriting and Combs’ heartfelt tribute helped the timeless track make history. “Fast Car” demonstrated its ability to impact new listeners across generations through its truth and emotion.

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