Luke Combs Dubs Tracy Chapman A ‘Supernatural Songwriter’ As ‘Fast Car’ Cover Achieves Platinum Status

To celebrate the success of the cover, Combs released a live performance video.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

July 18, 2023

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Luke Combs; Photo by David Bergman

Luke Combs openly shared his genuine reaction to the overwhelming success of his cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” during an exclusive interview with Billboard on Monday (July 17).

“Oh man, ‘Fast Car’ has surprised me more than you can imagine. Tracy Chapman wrote this perfect song that I first heard with my dad and it has stayed with me since,” Combs said of the immense success his cover has received thus far.

Surprising Success

Combs went on to explain that he has been performing the tune during his live shows “for six-plus years, and everyone — I mean everyone — across all these stadiums relates to this song and sings along.”

He later admitted that “the success of my cover is unreal.”

Luke Combs; Photo by David Bergman
Luke Combs; Photo by David Bergman

“That’s the gift of a supernatural songwriter. I think it’s so cool that Tracy is getting recognized and has reached new milestones,” Combs added. “I love that she is out there feeling all the love and that she gave me a shout-out! Thank you, Tracy!”

The news comes less than two weeks after Chapman shared her thoughts on Combs’ cover of her 1988 classic, “Fast Car.”

Honored To Be On The Country Charts

Breaking her silence, the 59-year-old singer/songwriter gave an exclusive statement to Billboard where she expressed her surprise over the success of Combs’ rendition of the song. 

“I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there,” Chapman told the outlet. ”I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.’”

Chapman also shared a congratulatory message and teased a collaboration with Combs on social media. 

“Who would want to see this collaboration? 🤯 Congratulations to @lukecombs success with Fast Car,” Chapman previously wrote on Instagram.

Chart Milestone

With Combs’ rendition of her 1988 hit sitting atop of the Billboard Country Airplay chart, Tracy Chapman achieved a historic milestone as the first Black woman to solely write a song that reached the top of the country charts.

“Still making waves 35 years later 🎸,” Chapman said, reacting to the news of her first-ever No. 1 at Country radio.

Fast Car” ascended to the top spot on the chart after just 11 weeks, matching Morgan Wallen’s rapid rise to the top of the chart with “Last Night.”  This achievement marks Combs’ 16th career No. 1 at country radio and his 15th No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

The cover remains atop the Billboard Country Airplay chart for a third consecutive week. With that accomplishment, Combs’ rendition of “Fast Car” ties Brooks & Dunn (“My Maria”) and Alan Jackson (“Summertime Blues”) for “the longest Country Airplay domination among remakes of pop hits,” according to Billboard.

In addition, the tune has officially been certified Platinum by The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) just 16 weeks after its release.

The hitmaker is celebrating the monumental success of his “Fast Car” cover with the release of a brand new live performance video for the tune, which was filmed during Combs’ sold-out show at Minneapolis’ US Bank Stadium by Zach Massey.

Live Performance Video

YouTube video

Connection To The Song

Luke Combs, 33, recently revealed his reason for recording a studio rendition of the Chapman hit, explaining that the tune holds a personal significance.

“[It’s] my first favorite song probably ever. I remember listening to that song with my dad in his truck when I was probably four years old,” Combs recalled of his connection to the track in a press release. “He had a cassette, a tape of it, and we had this old brown camper top F-150.”

“We rode around that thing, and he had a tape cassette player in there, and I have the original cassette — my dad brought it to me a couple of years ago… I have the one, and I have it in my shop,” he continued. “The only music I have in my shop is a cassette player. I love to go to antique stores, and just you can get a bunch of cassette tapes for 50 cents, and some of the best records of all time are on cassette.”

The North Carolina native, who is currently performing the Tracy Chapman cover each night on his massive 2023 world tour, knew he had to record the tune as it was a big part of his life.

“It’s always been one of my favorites. I covered it in college, and just kind of continued to play it around the house or whatever, and did a video of it in 2020 during the whole lockdown thing,” he told Smooth Radio. “I just figured, why not? It’s been such a big part of my life that I just figured it would be cool to do an official version of it.”

YouTube video

Combs’ “Fast Car” cover appears on his latest album, Gettin’ Old, which arrived on March 24, 2023. The project features 18 tracks, including “Growin’ Up And Gettin’ Old,” “See Me Now,” “Joe,” “Tattoo On A Sunburn,” the fan-favorite tune, “5 Leaf Clover,” and more.

“This album is about the stage of life I’m in right now. One that I’m sure a lot of us are in, have been through, or will go through,” Combs previously explained on social media. He continued, “It’s about coming of age, loving where life is now but at the same time missing how it used to be, continuing to fall for the one you love and loving them no matter what, living in the moment but still wondering how much time you have left, family, friends, being thankful, and leaving a legacy. Me and so many others have poured their hearts and souls into this record and I hope you love it as much as we do.”

Luke Combs’ World Tour continues this week with back-to-back shows at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. 

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.