Over thirty years since its initial release, Tracy Chapman’s iconic track “Fast Car” remains a celebrated masterpiece. The song achieved yet another milestone at the 2023 Country Music Awards held in Nashville’s Bridgeport Arena on November 8. Luke Combs’s popular rendition of “Fast Car” secured the prestigious Song of the Year title.
While Tracy was not in attendance during the broadcast, country music artist and presenter Sara Evans shared Chapman’s prepared acceptance speech upon declaring the song’s victory.
“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 and all of the fans of ‘Fast Car.’”
Luke Combs’s rendition of “Fast Car” has achieved significant acclaim beyond the Country Music Awards. In fact Luke also won Single of the Year at the 2023 CMA Awards for his cover of ‘Fast Car’. Here’s what he said at the ceremony:
“First and foremost, I want to thank Tracy Chapman for writing one of the best songs of all time, I never intended — I just recorded it because I love this song so much, it’s meant so much to me throughout my entire life,” he continued. “It’s the first favorite song that I ever had, since I was 4 years old.”
Luke Combs was interviewed backstage after receiving his award:
He said: ““I’ve never met Tracy. We haven’t communicated outside of our official correspondences to each other, but that’s something that I hope to do one day in the future. I think she was a trendsetting artist when she came out and she continues to be that to this day. I think tonight is a point proven in that so I’m super, super humbled to be a super small part of that.”
If he had a chance to meet her, what would he tell her? “I would say thank you for writing one of my favorite songs ever, It reminds me of me and my dad and [it’s] the song that I’ll play for my son and a song that will ultimately go on in my history, too. It’s meant so much to me. I would tell her thank you and congratulations.”
Tracy Chapman made history earlier in the year as the first Black female artist to reach the top spot on the Country Airplay chart since its inception in 1990, thanks to Combs’s version of her song. She also became the first Black songwriter to win in the category at the 57th annual Country Music Association Awards.
Despite everything that can be read here and there (especially on Twitter/X), where many are exclaiming that “Fast Car” is finally recognized as an important song after 35 years, we must not forget that the song had already garnered critical acclaim, including a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance in 1989, alongside Chapman’s wins for Best New Artist and Best Contemporary Folk Album.
It’s a huge achievement, Tracy is everywhere in the news, as you can see in the linked articles below and from the scale of the reactions to posts on social media.
Here are some, only some!, of the articles published worldwide celebrating Tracy’s victory:
- ABC News > Tracy Chapman makes history at 2023 CMA Awards with song of the year win for ‘Fast Car’
- NPR > Tracy Chapman becomes the first Black person to win Song of the Year at the CMAs
- CNN > Tracy Chapman wins CMA Award for ‘Fast Car’ decades after song’s debut
- New York Times > 35 Years After Its Debut, Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ Wins a Song of the Year Award
- New York Post > Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ wins CMA Song of the Year — nearly 4 decades after its release
- Washington Times > Tracy Chapman wins Country Music Association Song of the Year honors for 35-year-old song ‘Fast Car’
- San Francisco Chronicle > Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ named song of the year, making CMA history
- Billboard > Tracy Chapman Is Now a Country Music Association Award Winner
- BBC > Tracy Chapman makes country music history
- The Guardian > Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car wins country song of the year – 35 years after its debut
- The Independant > Tracy Chapman ‘honoured’ as ‘Fast Car’ named Song of the Year at CMAs – 35 years after release
- NME > Tracy Chapman makes country music history
- Rolling Stone Magazine > Tracy Chapman Just Became the First Black Songwriter to Win the CMA Song of the Year
- Today > Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ song wins CMA award 35 years after its debut
- People > Tracy Chapman Wins Song of the Year at the 2023 CMA Awards for ‘Fast Car’: ‘It’s Truly an Honor’
- USA Today > Tracy Chapman becomes first Black woman to win CMA Award 35 years after ‘Fast Car’ debut
- Le Figaro > Tracy Chapman, première compositrice noire à remporter le prix CMA de la chanson de l’année
- Gaffa > Tracy Chapman historisk på countrygala
- Folkebladet > Tracy Chapman vant countrypris for 35 år gammel låt
- India Times > Tracy Chapman makes history, becomes first Black Woman to win a CMA Award for “Fast Car”
Do they all say the same thing? Yes! But isn’t it impressive the number of articles wrote within a day after Tracy won this award?
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