Tracy Chapman’s Original Version of ‘Fast Car’ Sent to Radio by Label Following Grammy Performance

Tracy Chapman‘s 36-year-old original version of “Fast Car” is coming to radio again.

One of the most beloved moments at the Feb. 4 Grammy Awards was a rare public performance from Chapman, who collaborated with country artist Luke Combs for a duets version of the song. Originally a hit for Chapman in 1988, Combs’ version brought about a chart resurgence of the song last year.

Now, Rhino Records is servicing Chapman’s song to adult alternative, adult contemporary, Americana, classic hits, classic rock, college and non-commercial formats, according to a source. The recording originally came out on Elektra but now falls under Warner Music Group’s catalog division handled by Rhino.

Rhino is also servicing the video of the pair’s Grammy performance and asking radio stations to add the clip to their socials and websites, but there are no plans to make a quality audio version of the clip available to radio.

Trending on Billboard

Following Chapman and Combs’ duet at the Grammys, the original version of “Fast Car” earned 6 million official U.S. streams from Feb. 2 to Feb. 8, marking a 153% rise, according to Luminate. “Fast Car” also earned 35,000 digital downloads, elevating it to the top of the Digital Song Sales chart for the first time.

On Monday (Feb. 5), the day immediately following the Grammys performance, “Fast Car” earned 949,000 official on-demand streams — a 241% increase from the 278,000 it earned the previous Monday (Jan. 29). The song also saw its digital sales surge, rising 38,400% from “a negligible amount to nearly 14,000,” Billboard previously reported on Feb. 7. Combs also saw streams of his version rise 37% to nearly 1.6 million while it was up nearly 3,900% in sales to just over 6,000.

Chapman’s original “Fast Car” also re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 this week, landing at No. 42. Her version had previously appeared on the Hot 100 in October 1988, peaking at No. 6. Combs’ version reached No. 2 on the same chart in 2023.

Assistance in reporting this story was provided by Melinda Newman.


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