Luke Combs introduced a new audience to Tracy Chapman when his cover of the singer’s 1988 hit “Fast Car” took off on country radio. Combs won Single of the Year for his No. 1 rendition of the song at Wednesday’s CMA Awards while Chapman won Song of the Year for “Fast Car.”
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Combs chatted with American Songwriter and other media following his CMA Awards win and admitted that he has yet to meet Chapman.
“I’ve never met Tracy,” he said backstage. “We haven’t communicated outside of our official correspondences to each other, but that’s something that I hope to do one day in the future. I think she was a trendsetting artist when she came out and she continues to be that to this day. I think tonight is a point proven in that so I’m super, super humbled to be a super small part of that.”
The song itself holds a special place in Combs’ history. He further explained that “Fast Car” was one of the first songs he learned on guitar at 21.
“The journey of sitting in my apartment, I was teaching myself how to play guitar at 21 years old and spending days and days and days trying to teach myself how to play that lick which we all know is so iconic,” he said of “Fast Car.” “I finally figured it out after about a month and a half or two months because I was so new at playing guitar, but I knew that I wanted to play that song.
“I remember the first time I got it down,” he continued. “Then I tried to sing while I was playing. I couldn’t do it because it was so advanced of a thing for me where I was as a guitar player. It took me a few more months to be able to sing it and play it at the same time and it’s been a long journey. That song has always been a huge part of my life for a long time. All credit to Tracy for writing one of the best songs ever.”
Combs added that he didn’t record “Fast Song” for recognition or to have a career moment. He simply recorded the song because he loved it.
So, if he had a chance to meet Chapman, what would he tell her?
“I would say thank you for writing one of my favorite songs ever,” he said. “It reminds me of me and my dad and [it’s] the song that I’ll play for my son and a song that will ultimately go on in my history, too. It’s meant so much to me. I would tell her thank you and congratulations.”
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