Luke Combs is still riding the high of his 2024 Grammys duet with Tracy Chapman. The country star reflected on Sunday’s awards ceremony and his moving performance of “Fast Car” with the singer-songwriter on Instagram, calling the moment “unreal.”
“What an unreal Grammy week to say the least,” Combs wrote. “There were so many laughs, tears, hugs, and cheers that it almost doesn’t seem real. From the hotel hangs and rehearsals, to the dinners and post show pizza, the vibes were HIGH.”
Combs included a series of photos from Sunday’s ceremony with his post, including one of the two smiling wide while waiting backstage together, and another of them embracing after their now-legendary performance.
The singer then turned his attention to Chapman, thanking her for the influence her music has had on his career.
“When it comes to the performance it’s still hard to process how amazing it really was to be up there on that stage. No doubt a defining moment of my career,” he added. “Tracy, I want to send my sincerest thanks to you for allowing me to be a part of your moment. Thank you for the impact you have had on my musical journey, and the musical journeys of countless other singers, songwriters, musicians, and fans alike,” the post continued. “I hope you felt how much you mean to the world that night. We were all in awe of you up there and I was just the guy lucky enough to have the best seat in the house.”
Chapman’s appearance at the Grammys marked her first live TV performance in nearly a decade. The notoriously private singer had largely stayed out of the spotlight throughout her career, even declining all interview requests about the 2023 resurgence of “Fast Car” after Combs covered it, a song first released in 1988. So, as Grammys executives told Rolling Stone, they knew the idea of getting Chapman back on stage to sing the track with Combs was a bit of a long shot.
“It was a long process, but it was definitely our dream,” Grammys executive producer Raj Kapoor said of securing Chapman’s appearance on the show.
After managing to connect with Chapman (who doesn’t have a publicist) and pitching the idea, the singer sat with the idea for a bit before finally agreeing to the duet. “When Tracy and I first discussed this opportunity, we realized it represented a moment of confluence, coming 35 years to the month since Tracy first performed ‘Fast Car’ at the Grammys, and following a year of such success for Luke with her song,” Kapoor said.
And naturally, Combs was ecstatic to hear the news. Combs’ publicist Chris Kappy told Rolling Stone that the country singer specifically asked to give Chapman full creative control of the surprise performance. “Luke wanted to give Tracy every opportunity to shine,” Kappy says. “He said, ‘This is your song, and this is our opportunity to be a part of it.’”
After a few rehearsals, the two took the stage together on Sunday for what would become an all-time best collaborative performance in Grammy history.
“We knew we were working towards something rare and special,” Chapman’s friend, Matthew Rankin, told Rolling Stone, “but the performance was everything we hoped it would be and more, and the subsequent response has been incredible, exceeding our expectations in so many ways.”