Tracy Chapman becomes first black songwriter to win CMA song of the year prize

Fast Car was originally released in 1988 as the lead single from Chapman’s self-titled debut album.

A haunting folk-rock rumination on trying to escape poverty, it became a major hit after the singer performed it at Nelson Mandela’s 70th Birthday Concert at Wembley Stadium.

It has since become a standard, covered by everyone from Black Pumas, external to Justin Bieber, external.

It also re-entered the UK charts in 2015, thanks to two competing tropical house remixes by Jonas Blue and Tobtok.

Earlier this year, Chapman said she was “honoured” to find herself on US country radio, via Combs’ cover.

“I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honoured to be there,” she told Rolling Stone, external.

“I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced Fast Car”.

Combs cover is also expected to pick up a Grammy nomination for Record Of The Year when nominations are revealed on Friday.

The song won Chapman three Grammy Award nominations in 1989, including for song of the year. She won for best female pop vocalist.

Solidad La Madrid

Solidad has been a reporter since 2017. She writes stories about climate change, environment, COVID-19 pandemic and human rights.

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