During Wednesday night’s 2023 CMA Awards (11.08,), Tracy Chapman became the first Black songwriter to win the coveted Song of the Year prize.
Now 59-year-old, the the artist’s iconic 1988 ‘Fast Car’ classic was awarded Song and Single of the Year at the country music ceremony.
Thanks to the cover version by country superstar Luke Combs, the emotional song about a woman and her lover, jumped to the top of the country charts, some 35 years after its original release.
Unable to attend the Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena awards show, a statement on Chapman’s behalf read “I’m sorry I couldn’t join you all tonight.” “It’s truly an honor for my song to be newly recognised after 35 years of its debut. Thank you to the CMAs and a special thanks to Luke and all of the fans of ‘Fast Car.’”
About taking home the Single of the Year trophy for his rendition, Combs stated:
“First and foremost, I want to thank Tracy Chapman for writing one of the best songs of all time.” “I just recorded it because I loved the song. It’s the first favorite song that I ever had, at four years old.”
Elsewhere at the 2023 CMA’s Lainey Wilson dominated the night with five wins, including Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Music Video and Musical Event of the Year for the promo for ‘Wait in the Truck’ with HARDY.
Highlight performances of the night included Jelly Roll and Wynonna Judd sanging ‘Need A Favor,’ and Post Malone, Morgan Wallen, with HARDY, who performed ‘Pickup Man’ as a tribute to the late country icon Joe Diffie and his 1994 hit. Other live shows included Dan + Shay, Kelsea Ballerini, Kenny Chesney, the Zac Brown Band and others also took to the stage.
The complete CMA Awards 2023 winners’ list included:
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
‘Fast Car’ – Luke Combs
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
‘Bell Bottom Country’ – Lainey Wilson
SONG OF THE YEAR
‘Fast Car’ – Tracy Chapman
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
WINNER: ‘Wait in the Truck’ – HARDY (feat. Lainey Wilson)