What’s the Next “Fast Car” Crossover Hit?

When country star Luke Combs recorded and released his rendition of the classic Tracy Chapman song, “Fast Car,” on his 2023 album, Gettin’ Old, no one, not even Combs, could have predicted that it would become a crossover country-rock hit. But that it did.

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Since then, the song has hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart where it remained for five weeks and No. 2 on the Hot 100. The song’s success also garnered both Combs and Chapman a great deal of new, well-deserved attention. But the question arises: what might be the next country-rock crossover hit? Here are four contenders.

[RELATED: Luke Combs’ “Fast Car” Cover Goes Platinum]

1. “Just a Girl,” No Doubt

Released on No Doubt’s iconic 1995 album, Tragic Kingdom, this song is all about the difficulties of being a young woman—particularly how men view them as weak or incapable in various areas. It’s the perfect electric guitar-based song that, if slowed down and played acoustic, could blow up and become a country hit for someone.

2. “Fell on Black Days,” Soundgarden

This emotive song from 1994 released by the Seattle-born grunge band Soundgarden could also provide a country crooner with the perfect fodder for a heartland classic. It’s about sadness, and depression and it’s delivered with singer Chris Cornell’s epic voice. Couldn’t you imagine Garth Brooks or Darius Rucker singing this one in front of tens of thousands?

3. “Only Wanna Be With You,” Hootie & the Blowfish

Speaking of Rucker, the South Carolina-born former rocker turned country star released this song in 1995 and there is no reason why it couldn’t be given a twangy re-recording by him or by someone like Tyler Booth. It’s an up-tempo love song but with a slide guitar and an acoustic, it could turn into something perfect and befitting the Grand Ole Opry.

4. “Give Me One Reason,” Tracy Chapman

Since “Fast Car” did so well for Combs, why not revisit another stellar hit from Chapman? From the songwriter and performer’s 1995 album, New Beginning, this song has stood the test of time as a rock number. Now, with the success of “Fast Car,” maybe someone like Chris Stapleton could turn it into a country hit for 2023.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

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