As RedState previously reported, The Usual Suspects in the Woke Left/Media kicked up some dust in the summer of 2023 over country music singer Luke Combs’ cover of “Fast Car,” a song about a young couple struggling to survive and make a better life for themselves that was written and performed by singer Tracy Chapman in 1988.
The supposed “issue,” as explained by Washington Post entertainment reporter Emily Yahr at the time, was that Combs was having the type of success with the song in the country music industry that a “black, queer woman” like Chapman allegedly couldn’t in the industry on her own:
But it has also prompted a wave of complicated feelings among some listeners and in the Nashville music community. Although many are thrilled to see “Fast Car” back in the spotlight and a new generation discovering Chapman’s work, it’s clouded by the fact that, as a Black queer woman, Chapman, 59, would have almost zero chance of that achievement herself in country music.
Chapman, who won three Grammys in 1989 for Best Contemporary Folk Recording, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and Best New Artist for her debut album which featured “Fast Car,” didn’t seem to be phased by the type of hyper-politicized attention being given to Combs’ cover by the likes of the WaPo. She instead issued a statement congratulating Combs on the cover’s success while acknowledging the historic achievement of being the first solo black female songwriter to top Billboard’s country airplay chart:
“I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there,” Chapman tells Billboard in an exclusive statement. “I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.’”
Not only has Chapman’s song reached No. 1 on Country Airplay, she is the first Black woman as a song’s sole writer to top the chart since its debut in 1990. Chapman also reached No. 1 on Billboard‘s Country Songwriters chart, dated June 17, because of the success of Combs’ rendition.
In November 2023, “Fast Car” won Song of the Year at the Country Music Awards, another first for a black artist in country music.
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The icing on the cake on neutralizing the woke talking points that flew fast and furious a few months ago came Sunday night at the Grammys when Chapman made a rare public appearance on stage to sing the song that helped catapult her to stardom in the late 1980s.
Standing on the stage and singing alongside her was Combs, who has repeatedly noted in the past how “Fast Car” was his “first” favorite song as a child and how it had stayed with him throughout his life:
— Craig R. Brittain (@RealBrittain) February 5, 2024
They both received a resounding standing ovation from the other artists in attendance, the latter of who though probably impervious to the positive implications behind them performing together despite last summer’s manufactured outcry nevertheless inadvertently proved the point about organic inclusion and meshing of two different music genres being the best kind.
Since their duet, the song has once again topped the charts:
— Talk of the Charts (@talkofthecharts) February 5, 2024
Any time woke loses it’s a good thing, and for five sweet minutes at the 66th annual Grammy Awards ceremony, that’s exactly what happened.
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