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Tracy Chapman's 'Fast Car' Accelerates to Victory, Making CMA History

Tracy Chapman
Nashville's Bridgestone Arena set the stage for a historic win as Tracy Chapman's timeless hit "Fast Car" secured the Song of the Year award at the 57th annual Country Music Awards on Wednesday.

Despite Chapman's absence from the telecast, presenter Sarah Evans shared Chapman's gratitude in a heartfelt message, "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.'"

This accolade is especially remarkable considering "Fast Car" made its debut 35 years ago and enjoyed a resurgence in July when Luke Combs, a prominent country star, released a cover that soared to No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart. In a historic moment, Chapman became the first Black woman to top the chart since its inception in 1990.

Chapman, the sole writer of "Fast Car," also claimed the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Country Songwriters chart, a testament to the enduring appeal of her masterpiece through Combs' rendition.

Reflecting on this unexpected journey to the country charts, Chapman shared, "I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there. I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.’”

Luke Combs, who also clinched a CMA Award for Single of the Year with "Fast Car," expressed his deep appreciation during his acceptance speech. "First and foremost, I want to thank Tracy Chapman for writing one of the best songs of all time," Combs remarked, highlighting the profound impact "Fast Car" has had on his life since childhood.

The historic win at the CMAs establishes Tracy Chapman as the first Black artist to secure Song of the Year. The Country Music Association not only honored "Fast Car" in this category but also recognized Combs, Chip Matthews, and Jonathan Singleton with Single of the Year.

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