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Tracy Chapman's 'Fast Car' climbs the iTunes charts after her Grammy performance

"Fast Car," the folk anthem by Tracy Chapman, is continuing to have its renaissance moment.

Chapman joined country singer Luke Combs for a rare performance of the song at Sunday's Grammys ceremony. Moments after, "Fast Car" shot to No. 1 on the iTunes Top Songs chart. Her 1988 debut album, Tracy Chapman, also sat at No. 1.

Chapman's original song peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart following its release. She has performed the song on the Grammy stage before, when she won best female pop vocal performance for it at the 1989 Grammys.

Combs' version peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 chart after it was released last year and was nominated for a Grammy this year, though it did not win.

Chapman was not listed as an official performer this year, and the crowd cheered loudly when she appeared onstage, providing one of the most powerful moments at a Grammys show that was packed with memorable moments. Artists Taylor Swift and Jelly Roll were seen standing and singing along, and Chapman herself beamed with a smile.

Chapman has not done many public performances in recent years; her last tour was in 2009.

At the end of their performance, Chapman and Combs turned to each other and bowed as they received a standing ovation.

In a video shown on the show that preceded the performance, Combs spoke about what Chapman and her song have meant to him since childhood.

"That song, 'Fast Car', it was my favorite song before I even knew what a favorite song was," Combs said. "It can be felt and related to by all kinds of people around the world.

"It's just such a cool full circle moment for me," Combs added. "Just to be associated with her in any way is super humbling for me."

In November, Chapman won song of the year for "Fast Car," making her the first Black woman to win a Country Music Association award. She also won a lifetime achievement award at the 2024 International Folk Music Awards.

Chapman, a Cleveland native, is additionally behind such hits as "Give Me One Reason," "Baby Can I Hold You" and "Crossroads." She has been nominated for 13 Grammys and won four.

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Ayana Archie
[Copyright 2024 NPR]