Grammy Moments Indeed
Last summer Luke Combs, one of the hottest stars in country music, released his version of “Fast Car,” the song by Tracy Chapman that has haunted us all since 1988.
I was crushed.
How dare he take this perfect song and make it country! Who does he think he is, mooching this exquisite song? The nerve of that guy!
Well, on Sunday he showed up at the Grammys to sing it.
With Tracy Chapman.
Why did she agree to do this, given that she apparently rarely performs in front of big audiences?
I’m guessing she understood how this would play.
What a generous act to show up and show us “I’m OK with Luke Combs, the burliest country dude ever, singing my song.” And it’s not just because of the pile of mailbox money coming her way, now that her song had a months-long visit to the top of the country charts.
In the introduction to their performance, Luke Combs said that his dad had played the song often when Luke was young, that he’d had the song in his head forever: “That song, ‘Fast Car,’ was my favorite song before I even knew what a favorite song was.” He recorded it because it lived in his head.
This whole thing reminds me of Whitney Houston singing Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” Jumping genres is one of the great things about music. Cross-pollination is how stuff grows.
There was something healing about their performance on Sunday. It was beautiful to see.
Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” from 1988 is here.
And then . . .
Did you see these performances?
PS Full recordings of the Grammy performances aren’t available yet—I’ll add links if I find them.