Legendary singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman joined country hitmaker Luke Combs for a collaborative performance at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday evening (February 4). The two artists joined forces to perform “Fast Car” together for the first time, earning a standing ovation as the crowd erupted with applause during the highly-anticipated moment.
Earlier this week, reports emerged stating that Chapman would perform her 1980s classic on stage with Combs. It marked her first live performance in years, aside from some on-camera appearances since wrapping up her last tour more than a decade ago. “Fast Car” witnessed a fresh resurgence in 2023 when Combs included his cover on his 18-track album, Gettin’ Old (a follow-up to Growin’ Up in 2022) in March 2023. Combs previously shared that the song is meaningful to him because he can remember listening to it with his dad. Now, after covering “Fast Car” during his live shows for several years, the award-winning country artist notices the ways the 80s ballad resonates with his audiences. “Fast Car” ultimately won Song of the Year and Single of the Year at the CMA Awards in November 2023, making Chapman the first Black woman to win a CMA Award, the Country Music Association confirmed at that time.
Combs hadn't met Chapman by that point, but he aimed to change that.
“It’s been a long journey. That song’s been a huge part of my life for a long time, and all credit to Tracy for writing one of the best songs ever written. It’s insane to be holding this, for sure,” Combs said backstage in Nashville as he held his CMA Awards. “I’ve never met Tracy…but that’s something that I hope to do one day in the future. I think she was a trendsetting, barrier-breaking artist when she came out, and she continues to be that to this day. I think tonight is point-proven in that, so I’m super, super humbled to just be a super small part of that. …The song that I’ll play for my son, and a song that ultimately will go down in my history, too. It’ll be synonymous with me now, as well, which is insane to think about because it’s meant so much to me. I would just tell her thank you and congratulations.”
The 66th Annual Grammy Awards, hosted again by Trevor Noah, took place at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California. Performers throughout the evening also included Billie Eilish, Billy Joel, Burna Boy, Dua Lipa, Joni Mitchell, Olivia Rodrigo, SZA, Travis Scott and U2. Presenters include Christina Aguilera, Samara Joy, Lenny Kravitz, Maluma, Lionel Richie, Mark Ronson, Meryl Streep, Taylor Tomlinson and Oprah Winfrey. Check back for live updates on winners throughout the evening here.
Combs is one of many country artists nominated at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards, along with Lainey Wilson, Morgan Wallen, Kane Brown, Jelly Roll and many others. Combs is nominated in country categories in addition to genre-spanning categories at the 12th annual awards show. See the list of country artists nominated at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards here.
Fans across the country will be able to watch the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards live as the show will be airing live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Monday, April 1st from 8pm-10pm ET live/PT tape-delayed on FOX. The event will also be broadcast on iHeartRadio stations nationwide and on the free iHeartRadio app.