No one is more shocked than Luke Combs that he has a No. 1 hit with his cover of the ’80s Tracy Chapman hit, “Fast Car.” The song was a favorite of Combs for years, but it wasn’t until his Gettin’ Old album that he decided to include it on a record.
“Oh man, ‘Fast Car’ has surprised me more than you can imagine,” Combs tells Billboard. “Tracy Chapman wrote this perfect song that that I first heard with my dad and it has stayed with me since. I have played it in my live show now for six-plus years and everyone — I mean everyone — across all these stadiums relates to this song and sings along. That’s the gift of a supernatural songwriter.”
Combs’ “Fast Car” not only became a chart-topping hit, but it also made history. The success of the song marked the first time for a Black woman to have a No. 1 hit on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart as a sole writer.
“The success of my cover is unreal and I think it’s so cool that Tracy is getting recognized and has reached new milestones,” Combs says. “I love that she is out there feeling all the love and that she gave me a shout-out! Thank you, Tracy!”
Chapman also praised Combs’ version, saying the new resurgence of the song was a surprise, albeit a welcome one.
“I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there,” Chapman previously told Billboard. “I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.’”
“Fast Car” is not only a favorite of Combs, but it’s also nostalgic. The 33-year-old, who just released a live version of the song, recalls listening to “Fast Car” as a child, with the memories carrying him through to the present day.
“I’ve had a million favorite songs, from the time I was born until now, at any given time,” Combs told Sony Music Nashville. “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.”
Combs is currently on his World Tour, with Riley Green, Lainey Wilson, Flatland Cavalry, Brent Cobb, Cody Johnson and Lane Pittman serving as opening acts on select dates. Find music and tour dates at LukeCombs.com.