Tracy Chapman makes history as first Black recipient of top CMA Awards songwriter prize
Tracy Chapman made history and Lainey Wilson was the biggest winner at the star-studded bash.
Tracy Chapman has become the first Black songwriter to win Song of the Year at the 2023 CMA Awards.
The 59-year-old star's 1988 classic 'Fast Car' won both Song and Single of the Year at the country music ceremony on Wednesday night (08.11.23) and made history.
The song jumped to the top of the country charts, some 35 years after its release, thanks to a cover by country superstar Luke Combs.
In a statement read out on her behalf at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, Tracy said: “I’m sorry I couldn’t join you all tonight.
“It’s truly an honour 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.’”
On winning Single of the Year with the cover, Luke, 33, said: “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 favourite song that I ever had, at four years old.”
Elsewhere, Lainey Wilson dominated the night with five wins.
As well as taking home the biggest prize of the night, Entertainer of the Year, the 'Yellowstone' star, 31, scooped Album of the Year for 'Bell Bottom Country', Female Vocalist of the Year, and Music Video and Musical Event of the Year for the promo for 'Wait in the Truck' with HARDY.
As for the evening's performances, Jelly Roll, 38, brought out Wynonna Judd, 59, to duet on his hit 'Need A Favor'.
Post Malone, 28, Morgan Wallen, 30, and HARDY, 33, performed a tribute to late country icon Joe Diffie, putting their own spin on his 1994 hit 'Pickup Man'.
Dan + Shay, Kelsea Ballerini, Kenny Chesney, the Zac Brown Band and more also took to the stage.
Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning returned to host for the second year running.
CMA Awards 2023 winners' list:
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)
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
'Wait in the Truck' – HARDY (feat. Lainey Wilson)
Director: Justin Clough
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR