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Singer/songwriter Tracy Chapman is the first Black songwriter to win the Country Music Award’s Song of the Year.

There has never been a Black songwriter in the CMA’s 56 year history, according to Rolling Stone.

Chapman’s classic hit “Fast Car” was released 35 years ago. Her self-titled debut album topped the Billboard 200 chart on August 27, 1988. Chapman won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1989.
 

34 years later, country music star Luke Combs’ cover version earned him 2 CMA trophies for Song of the Year and Single of the year.

Combs’ version of “Fast Car” peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and made Chapman the first Black woman to have a sole songwriting credit on a No. 1 country hit.

Chapman sent a prepared statement which was read by presenter Sara Evans.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t join you all tonight. It’s truly an honor for my song to be newly recognized 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.’”

Combs thanked Chapman for “writing one of the best songs of all time.”

He added, “I just recorded it because I loved the song. It’s the first favorite song that I ever had, at 4 years old.”
 

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