Luke Combs, Tracy Chapman Perform Together on The GRAMMYs
Luke Combs and Tracy Chapman was the second performance at the GRAMMY Awards tonight and got a huge standing ovation. There was a lot of speculation that Tracy Chapman would join him on “Fast Car” at the show. In a video clip leading to the performance, Luke talked about how it was his favorite song as a kid.
After the video, you could see hands playing the familiar opening of “Fast Car,” and then revealed that it was Tracy Chapman performing the song. Luke joined in, and the audience of the world’s most famous singers and songwriters seemed to erupt. The camera shot to Taylor Swift, who was standing in the crowd, swaying and singing every word. Then the camera shot to country stars War And Treaty, Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson, and Zach Bryan singing along. As the song continued, the crowd got emotional, and Oprah Winfrey stood up with her arms held out joyously at that wonderful sound.
As a journalist who has covered many award shows, including the GRAMMYs, for many ears, I have to say it was the best country music performance on any GRAMMY Awards show. And as I stood up to write this story, I noticed tears streaming down my face.
Combs won a CMA Award in November (11/8) for Single of The Year for his remake of the Tracy Chapman classic “Fast Car.” Chapman also won the Song of the Year (an award given to the songwriter) for Luke’s version of her song. With that, she became the first African American woman ever to win a CMA Award.
Backstage after his win, I asked Combs if he ever thought he would win a CMA for a song he first heard in his dad’s truck as a kid and loved since he was little. He told me, “Definitely not. I definitely had no idea that would be going on. It’s insane, really, the journey. I remember sitting in my apartment, and I was teaching myself to play guitar at 21 years old, spending just days and days trying to teach myself how to play that lick, which we all know and is so iconic. I finally figured it out after about a month and a half or two months. I was so new at playing guitar, but I knew I wanted to play that song.”
He continued, “I remember the first time I got it down, then I tried to sing while I was playing it, and I couldn’t do it because it was so advanced for where I was as a guitar player. And then it took me a few more months to be able to sing it and play it at the same time. It’s been a long journey; that song has been a huge part of my life for a long time. All credit to Tracy for writing one of the best songs ever written. It’s insane to be holding this for sure.”