Tracy Chapman Returns to the Stage for a Surprise Performance of “Fast Car” at the Grammys

66th grammy awards show
Tracy Chapman Returns to the Stage at 2024 GrammysKevin Winter - Getty Images

Tracy Chapman is back in the limelight, if only for a moment.

The acclaimed (and reclusive) musician made a surprise appearance at the 66th Grammy Awards on Sunday to perform signature song “Fast Car” alongside country superstar Luke Combs. Luke famously covered Tracy's 1988 hit last year, giving the song new life on streaming services and introducing it to an entirely new audience of listeners. The success of Luke's cover helped Tracy make history: “Fast Car” became the first song written entirely by a Black woman to top the Billboard country charts, and also the first to win Song of the Year at the Country Music Awards in 2023.

Tonight's Grammys performance was a rarity for Tracy, and marked her first televised performance in years. According to Variety, her last tour was in 2009, and she has performed publicly only three times since.

66th grammy awards show
Kevin Winter - Getty Images

The Grammys audience gave Tracy a roaring round of applause when it was revealed she was indeed onstage. She wore a subdued ensemble for the comeback performance, opting for a black button-up T-shirt, matching denim, and hair pulled back in a neat ponytail.

Tracy has expressed her support for Luke's cover of her song. After his version hit no. 1 on the country charts last summer, she told Billboard, “I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there. I’m happy for Luke and his success, and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.’”

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