CMA Awards 2023: Luke Combs Wins Single of the Year, With ‘Fast Car’

The first winner of the 2023 CMA Awards is Luke Combs, for Single of the Year, with “Fast Car.” The song, a cover of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 hit, was on Combs’ Gettin’ Old album.

‘First and foremost, I want to thank Tracy Chapman for writing one of the best songs of all time,” Combs said from stage. “I never, never intended — I just recorded it because I loved the song so much. It’s meant so much to me throughout my entire life. It’s the first favorite song I ever had from the time I was four years old.’

It was a nostalgic reason that Combs decided to release “Fast Car,’ one of three songs on the record that Combs did not write.

“I’ve had a million favorite songs, from the time I was born until now, at any given time,” Combs told Sony Music Nashville of the song, which became a No. 1 hit for Combs. “But that was one of the first, ‘Oh, that’s like my favorite song right now.’ My dad had this old pickup truck that had a cassette player in it, and I have the actual cassette that me and my dad used to listen to, the exact one of that album.

“That song just always stuck out to me,” he added. “That was probably one of my first experiences, subconsciously, even knowing what a hit song was, because  I didn’t know at the time that that was a hit song.”

Gettin’ Old was the first record that Combs included songs he didn’t write on the record, although he has never been opposed to using songs by other writers.

“You hear Chris Stapleton do Tennessee Whiskey,’ and how many people’s only impression of that song is Chris Stapleton?” Combs reflected. “Not to mention that George Jones has cut it, and David Allen Coe’s cut it. All these people have cut this song. It’s been around for generations of country music fans, and has even been a single for other people too. And then when Chris did it, it got this whole new life. I love that song so much.

“And I think it’s such a great song that it deserves to be heard by a whole generation of people that haven’t heard it before,” he continued. “And so, to be able to have an opportunity to do that, especially with a song that’s meant so much to me and my love of music from as far back as I can remember is super unique,” he adds.

Chapman also won the CMA Award for Song of the Year. Although she was not present to accept the trophy, she did send a statement to express her gratitude, which was read by Sara Evans.

“It is truly an honor for my song to be newly recognized after 35 years of its debut,” Chapman said. “Wow. Thank you to the CMAs and a special thanks to Luke and all of the fans.”

Combs will embark on his Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old Tour in March. Find “Fast Car” and all of Combs’ music and upcoming shows at

Read ‘Luke Combs: 11 Things To Know About the Singer’s Life and Career’ here.