Luke Combs Shares the Inspirational Story Behind Recording Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ Cover, Inspired by His Father

Published by Cel Manero from Global One Media, Inc.

The nominated artist in the country music genre is in contention for the Best Country Solo Performance category at the 2024 Grammy Awards.

Luke Combs is contemplating the significant year he has experienced. In April, the prominent country artist unveiled a melodious rendition of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 hit “Fast Car,” which swiftly ascended to the pinnacle of country music charts and reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, Combs’ decision to release the track wasn’t solely driven by thoughts of garnering airplay. Rather, it was a homage to cherished childhood moments spent with his father, Chester Combs.

“When I was five years old, my father and I used to ride in his truck, and he would consistently play music for me. He had a Tracy Chapman cassette tape, and ‘Fast Car’ is one of the earliest songs I can recall,” shares the 33-year-old native of North Carolina with PEOPLE. “I’ve always been a tremendous fan of it and associate it with my dad and the moments we shared.”

Beyond its success on the charts, Combs’ rendition has garnered notable recognition. He clinched the Single of the Year award at the CMA Awards, and the song was also honored as the Song of the Year at the same event, marking a historic win for Tracy Chapman as the first Black woman to receive this accolade. Presently, Combs is a nominee for Best Country Solo Performance at the upcoming 2024 Grammys in February, marking his seventh nomination in this category.

“It opened up new opportunities for me that I hadn’t experienced before, but I’m genuinely pleased that the song regained prominence and reached a fresh audience that may not have encountered it before,” expresses Combs, who is set to embark on his Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old Tour in April 2024. “It’s one of those timeless songs that should endure, so I’m grateful it received a renewed lease on life.”

Since making a breakthrough in 2017 with his hit single “Hurricane,” Combs has solidified his presence in Nashville. Nevertheless, even he couldn’t have predicted the trajectory his rendition of “Fast Car” would take.

“I always considered it one of the greatest songs of all time, so I guess I shouldn’t be too astonished,” notes Combs, “but Tracy’s version is unparalleled, so I thought mine would simply be a respectful tribute to the original, never anticipating its remarkable ascent.”