Tracy Chapman’s Surprising Comeback At The Grammys

The award-winning singer made a special appearance and is starting to top the charts once again with her hit song.

At this year’s Grammy Awards, singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman surprised the audience when she performed her hit song “Fast Car” with country singer Luke Combs.

When Combs released his cover of the song last year, it was so successful that it won Single of the Year and Song of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards. The awards honor both Combs’ performance and Chapman’s songwriting. This also made Chapman the first Black songwriter to receive the award.

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Tracy Chapman's surprise performance at the Grammy Awards
Image via Instagram @recordingacademy

According to Rolling Stone, this was when the collaboration began. After a 30-minute phone call between the two artists, the Grammy collaboration was in the works. The pair then met in person for the first time just five days before the Grammys to practice their performance.

A Rare Appearance

What made the appearance such a surprise is that Chapman likes to keep a relatively low profile. She hasn’t toured in 15 years, not since she was promoting her last album Our Bright Future.

At the Grammys, when the familiar notes of the song’s intro started playing, the camera was focused on Chapman’s hands plucking at her guitar strings. It was impossible to tell who was playing at first, until the camera slowly panned up and the light glowed on her face. 

The reveal was met with deafening cheers from the audience while the two artists shone on stage, with Chapman starting and closing the song. Both artists often watched and smiled at the other throughout the performance, showing obvious admiration and respect.

Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs after their Grammy performance
Image via Instagram @lukecombs

“Tracy, I want to send my sincerest thanks to you for allowing me to be a part of your moment. Thank you for the impact you have had on my musical journey, and the musical journeys of countless other singers, songwriters, musicians, and fans alike,” Combs later wrote on Instagram.

“I hope you felt how much you mean to the world that night. We were all in awe of you up there and I was just the guy lucky enough to have the best seat in the house.”

Topping The Charts

Back in 1989, “Fast Car” earned Chapman the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. It was also nominated for Song of the Year and Record of the Year.

Tracy Chapman performing in Belgium in 2009
Image by Hans Hillewaert via Wikimedia Commons

Following this year’s Grammy performance, streams for the original version of the song have soared. It has even topped the Digital Song Sales chart for the first time, according to Billboard. The original has also re-entered the Billboard Hot 100, landing at No. 42.

After being one of the highlights of the 66th Grammy Awards, Chapman returned home to resume her private life, leaving us all to wonder when we’ll see her perform on stage again.

Banner image via Instagram @recordingacademy.

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