In one of the most poignant moments of Sunday’s 66th annual Grammy awards, folk icon Tracy Chapman returned to the stage for the first time in over a decade to perform her seminal hit “Fast Car.”
An Icon Returns
The 59-year-old singer-songwriter, who has kept a low profile in recent years, emerged to deliver a show-stopping duet of “Fast Car” with country sensation Luke Combs.
Clad in matching black shirts, Chapman started the performance solo on her guitar as Combs looked on admiringly. Her smooth, soulful vocals instantly transported the audience back decades to when “Fast Car” first stormed the charts.
The camera panned to Taylor Swift singing along – a full-circle moment as today’s pop superstar paid respect to one of her musical heroes.
Passing The Torch
When Combs joined in with his gravelly vocals, it felt like a symbolic passing of the torch from Chapman to the next generation. His soaring cover of “Fast Car” went viral in 2022, exposing the timeless song to new audiences and landing on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
Performing it live alongside Chapman was clearly emotional for Combs, who previously cited her as a massive influence growing up. For Chapman, it marked her triumphant return to the Grammy stage 35 years after she first performed “Fast Car” there as a new artist in 1989.
A Standing Ovation
As their moving duet came to a close, the Grammys audience erupted into deafening cheers and a standing ovation.
An elated Combs hugged Chapman as cameras showed Oprah Winfrey leaping to her feet to applaud.
“This has been a dream come true for me,” an emotional Combs later told reporters. “I can’t thank Tracy enough for joining me and letting me honor her iconic song.”
With her showstopping 2024 Grammys comeback, Tracy Chapman has proven the timeless allure of “Fast Car” and her indelible influence on music still burns brightly.