Luke Combs thanks Tracy Chapman for letting him be part of her 'moment' at the Grammys

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Luke Combs is speaking out about performing "Fast Car" with Tracy Chapman at the 2024 Grammy Awards, calling the surprise duet a "defining moment" of his career.

"It’s still hard to process how amazing it really was to be up there on that stage," Combs wrote on Instagram the weekend after the Grammys.

He went on to share a special message for Chapman, who last performed live on TV in 2015. "I want to send my sincerest thanks to you for allowing me to be a part of your moment. Thank you for the impact you have had on my musical journey, and the musical journeys of countless other singers, songwriters, musicians, and fans alike," he said.

He alluded to the effect she had on the crowd, both in person and at home. "I hope you felt how much you mean to the world that night. We were all in awe of you up there and I was just the guy lucky enough to have the best seat in the house," Combs said.

In an Instagram story posted after the show, Combs previously called the pair's collaboration a "remarkable moment."

"I'll have more to say about last night when I've had the chance to process it. All I can say now is thank you Tracy and thank you @recordingacademy for letting me be a part of a truly remarkable moment. I'm very thankful," the country music star wrote alongside a Billboard post about the duo's performance he shared in his Instagram stories.

In 2023, Combs scored success with his version of “Fast Car,” turning Chapman's original song into a hit again 35 years after its 1988 release.

In an unannounced move at the Feb. 4 ceremony, Chapman emerged onstage with an acoustic guitar at the Arena in Los Angeles, where she began performing “Fast Car” to wild applause from the star-studded audience.

Combs called his duet with Chapman a
Combs called his duet with Chapman a

The legendary singer was soon followed onstage by Combs, who alternated verses with Chapman on her folky ballad, which tells the story of a working-class narrator dreaming of escaping generations of poverty.

Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

The pair's duet was met with a standing ovation from their fellow musicians, including Taylor Swift, who rose to her feet to sing along while the two performed.

Fans watching at home posted on social media about how moved they were to see Combs and Chapman perform the poignant song together.

Chapman's version of "Fast Car" reached the No. 6 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1988 and earned her a Grammy for best pop female vocal performance.

Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs  (John Shearer / Getty Images)
Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs (John Shearer / Getty Images)

Combs' version of the song, off his 2023 album "Gettin’ Old," rose to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. It also won the CMA Award for song of the year.

Chapman told Billboard in July 2023 that she was pleased that Combs' version of "Fast Car" was introducing the song to new listeners.

“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,'" she said.

Combs followed up by expressing his gratitude to Chapman, calling "Fast Car" a "perfect song."

"The success of my cover is unreal and I think it’s so cool that Tracy is getting recognized and has reached new milestones. I love that she is out there feeling all the love and that she gave me a shout-out! Thank you, Tracy!” he gushed to Billboard.

Combs had covered "Fast Car" during his live performances for several years before recording the song.

In concert footage he posted on Instagram in May 2023, the country singer opened up about falling in love with "Fast Car" as a child when his father played Chapman's self-titled debut album on the cassette player in his truck.

“There was this one song that really stuck out to me. It was called ‘Fast Car.’ That song meant a lot to me ever since then — for my whole life. I always think about my dad when it comes on and us spending time together."

The same month, Combs shared a photo of his father's scuffed-up cassette tape of Chapman's album. "Found THE cassette my dad first played Tracy Chapman’s 'Fast Car' on for me when I was a kid!" he said.

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