Monday, June 17, 2024

Tracy Chapman, Luke Combs’ ‘Fast Car’ puts unlikely duo at top of country music world

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Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs continue driving “Fast Car” through the record books with two more nominations at the 2024 Academy of Country Music awards.

Combs topped the ACM awards nominations with eight nods, including entertainer of the year, album of the year and male artist of the year.

He’s also nominated for single of the year and song of the year for “Fast Car,” a nomination he shares with Chapman, who wrote the song in the late ’80s.

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Tracy Chapman found a resurgence of her hit song “Fast Car” thanks to Luke Combs. (John Shearer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Combs’ cover of Chapman’s Grammy-winning song went platinum in July 2023, and by September was a bona fide No. 1 country hit. Chapman became the first Black woman with a sole songwriting credit to top the country charts.

“I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there,” Chapman said in a statement to Billboard in July 2023. 

TRACY CHAPMAN, LUKE COMBS’ GRAMMYS PERFORMANCE OF ‘FAST CAR’ GETS STANDING OVATION

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

More than 35 years after the release of the original song, Chapman earned the CMA Award for song of the year in November 2023.

Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs sing a duet

Chapman performed the song with Combs at the Grammys for the first time in years. (Getty Images)

“I want to thank Tracy Chapman for writing one of the greatest songs of all time,” Combs said while accepting the award.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t join you all tonight,” Chapman said in a statement read when she won the award. “It’s truly an honor for my song to be newly recognized after 35 years of its debut. Thank you to the CMAs, and a special thanks to Luke and all of the fans of ‘Fast Car.’”

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Months later, Chapman returned to the stage for the first time in years at the 2024 Grammy Awards for an emotional rendition of her hit song in support of Combs’ best country solo performance nomination.

“Fast Car” was originally released by Chapman in 1988, and it reached No. 1 on iTunes after their performance.

“This is crazy,” she wrote on X, formerly Twitter, after the news broke.

Lainey Wilson performing with guitar

Lainey Wilson could earn the Triple Crown award at the ACMs. (Erika Goldring/Getty Images for ACM)

In addition to Combs’ nominations on ACMs night, the “Hurricane” singer and Lainey Wilson both have their eyes on the prize with the biggest title on the line: the ACMs Triple Crown. 

The Academy of Country Music coined its “triple crown” for winners who clinch a trophy in one of each three sections: new artist category; male, female duo or group category; and entertainer of the year.

Country singer Morgan Wallen wears gold chains with a black T-shirt

Morgan Wallen is nominated for six ACM awards, including album of the year with “One Thing at a Time.” (Toni Anne Barson)

Combs and Wilson are both nominated for entertainer of the year, and a win for either in the category would earn their spot on the coveted list.

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“Last Night” singer Morgan Wallen and Megan Moroney each received six nominations. Moroney’s ACM nods make the country crooner the most-nominated woman at this year’s awards show. 

Country star Jelly Roll holds his hand to his chest

Jelly Roll is nominated for four ACM awards. (John Parra/Getty Images for Audacy’s Riptide Music Festival)

First-time nominee Jelly Roll earned four nominations at the ACM awards, including entertainer of the year. Billy Ray Cyrus was the last first-time honoree to be nominated for entertainer of the year in 1992 with his megahit “Achy Breaky Heart.”

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