NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — History was made at the 57th annual CMA Awards held in Music City Wednesday night as Tracy Chapman became the first Black songwriter to win “Song of the Year.”
Luke Combs’ recording of Chapman’s “Fast Car” helped her make country music history 35 years after its initial release.
Presenter Sara Evans read a statement from the notoriously reclusive singer. “I’m sorry I couldn’t join you all tonight,” Chapman wrote. “It’s truly an honor for my song to be newly recognized after 35 years of its debut. Thank you to the CMAs and a special thanks to Luke and all of the fans of ‘Fast Car.’”
Combs‘ version of “Fast Car” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 this summer and took home the first two CMA Awards of the evening, for both Song and Single of the year.
When Combs was asked if he had any words for Chapman, he thanked her and explained what the song means to him.
“This song has meant, for me, throughout my entire life, it’s something that reminds me of me and my dad and it’s the song that I’ll play for my son, and a song that ultimately that will go down in my history too. It’ll be synonymous with me now as well, which is insane to think about because it’s meant so much to me so I would just tell her thank you and congratulations,” said Combs.
Combs thanked Chapman in his acceptance speech for Single of the Year for writing “one of the best songs of all time.”
“Fast Car” was released in 1988 and has reached a new generation thanks to Combs. “Fast Car” received three Grammy nominations in 1989, including song of the year. Chapman was awarded the Grammy for best female pop vocalist that year.