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Tracy Chapman's 'Fast Car' wins CMA Award for Song of the Year award 35 years after its release

By Yoniel Acebuche Published Nov 09, 2023 4:52 pm

After 35 years since its release, singer Tracy Chapman's Fast Car won Song of the Year in the recently concluded Country Music Awards (CMA). She also made history as the first Black songwriter to receive the honor from the award-giving body, according to Rolling Stone

“I’m sorry I couldn’t join you all tonight. It’s truly an honor for my song to be newly recognized after 35 years of its debut. Wow. Thank you to the CMAs and a special thanks to Luke (Combs) and to all of the fans of Fast Car,” country star and the category’s presenter Sarah Evans said on behalf of Chapman. Chapman was not present during the awarding ceremony held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, November 8.

Fast Car made history in 2020 when country music star Luke Combs released a cover that reached the top of the Country Airplay chart. This marked a significant milestone, as it made Chapman the first Black woman to top the chart since its inception in 1990.

Chapman, who remains the sole songwriter of Fast Car, also achieved the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Country Songwriters chart.

In a statement to Billboard, she expressed her gratitude for the song's resurgence and Combs' role in introducing it to a new audience. "I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I'm honored to be there," she stated. "I'm happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced 'Fast Car.'"

The song's success also garnered critical acclaim, as Chapman received three Grammy Award nominations in 1989, including Song of the Year for "Fast Car," ultimately winning the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Combs also received recognition, earning a CMA Award for Single of the Year for his cover of the song.

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In an Instagram video, Combs revealed why he wanted to record the song which he said he was first drawn to the song while driving with his father.

“There was this one song that really stuck out to me. It was called 'Fast Car.' That song meant a lot to me since then—for my whole life. I always think about my dad when it comes on and us spending time together,” he said.