Luke Combs On Tracy Chapman’s Lack Of Response To ‘Fast Car’ Cover

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Shawn Lealos

Luke Combs has added another major hit song to his discography with a cover of Tracy Chapman’s classic hit, “Fast Car.” The song is on Combs’ 2023 album, Gettin’ Old, and has already gone platinum while climbing up the music charts.

Combs recently also talked about Chapman’s reaction to his cover of her classic song.

Tracy Chapman’s reaction to Luke Combs’ ‘Fast Car’

Tracy Chapman released the song “Fast Car” way back in 1988. It was on her self-titled debut studio album and ended up as a top ten hit in the United States. It topped out at sixth on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the biggest hit of her career. She also picked up three Grammy nominations for the song, winning Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

As great as the song was when Chapman released it, Luke Combs has already topped her in one area. His song has already reached the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100, four spots higher than Chapman hit. Combs is the fourth person to cover the song, following Swedish record producer Tobtok, British record producer Jonas Blue, and Japanese pop singer Hitomi Yaida.

Luke Combs / YouTube

However, Combs’s version has been the most successful so far, at least on the charts. While Combs’ song hit platinum, Chapman’s single reached triple-platinum status.  But how has Chapman reacted to Combs’ version of her song? She hasn’t.

Chaplam hasn’t released a studio album since 2008, with her last single coming in 2009. She has also been slightly litigious, suing Nicki Minaj over copyright infringement after Minaj sampled her song “Baby Can I Hold You” without permission. That ended when Minaj paid Chapman $450,000. Luke Combs might not have heard from Tracy Chapman about his cover, but he doesn’t have to worry about a lawsuit.

Luke Combs on how he made ‘Fast Car’

Luke Combs said he has not heard from Tracy Chapman about his cover of her song, “Fast Car.” He said he didn’t even talk to her to ask permission. A singer can cover any song they want as long as they meet certain requirements. “There are licenses for a lot of things. I can’t make any videos — I can’t do a music video,” Combs said. “I couldn’t promo that before the album came out.”

However, he does pay royalties to Tracy Chapman, who was the songwriter for “Fast Car” as well as the original performer. Combs said that once a song is released, it is there for anyone to record a cover of as long as they pay the royalties and don’t use it to promote an album or license it out for a video or a movie or TV show, or anything like that. He also can’t sing it on awards shows without added permission from Chapman.

This is the first time that Tracy Chapman has charted on the country music charts, as well. As the songwriter, she gets credit there as well, as the song hit number one on the US Country Airplay charts and number two on the US Hot Country Songs charts.

What are your thoughts on Luke Combs’s cover of  “Fast Car.” Are you surprised he hasn’t heard from Tracy Chapman since the song blew up? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Update: Tracy Chapman finally responded to how well this version of the song is doing.

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