Last night at the 2024 GRAMMY Awards, Tracy Chapman performed her iconic 1988 single “Fast Car” as a duet with Luke Combs, who famously covered the song last year to much critical fanfare. (Combs’ cover of “Fast Car” was so well performed, if politically controversial, that it also secured its own GRAMMY nomination and has been trending on the charts for months now.)
This surprising crossover performance was met with rapturous applause from the audience of musical legends, and it’s easy to understand why.
“Fast Car” is one of the most iconic folk songs of all time, and it’s one of the few songs that pretty much everyone I know can agree is a song worthy of tears. To quote many other writers currently commenting on this performance, it’s a “masterclass” of emotional intelligence. It’s beautiful; this is a duet that many of us didn’t know we needed.
The message about hopeful escape from life circumstances seems to strike a chord anew with every passing generation, which is why this song has always been a classic.
Combs’ 2023 cover, meanwhile, proved that it still has crossover appeal to a younger, more politically diverse audience, and makes a salient case for its appeal as a highlight in the GRAMMY performance archive. When the two come together in this riveting performance, it’s hard not to get choked up.
Who, after all, hasn’t ever gazed longingly out the window of a car, dreaming about escape to a different life? All feelings have a season, and this song’s ability to capture the mournful hope of a new day is a message that transcends and stands the test of time.
Deep down, everyone yearns for “a feeling that I belong” at some point in their lives– and that’s a beautiful message to send the world through music, especially during a period wherein we are still healing from a global pandemic and the fraught state of international politics.
Watch Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs perform their “Fast Car” duet below (and try not to cry!):
In case you didn’t get to see it, here is the full video of Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs singing “Fast Car” at the Grammys
— EZ Rider🌻 (@EZRideryoyall) February 5, 2024