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Tracy Chapman


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Tracy Chapman
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At the 1987 WEA sales meeting in Miami, Elektra Chairman/CEO Bob Krasnow introduced his newest find, a young African-American singer/songwriter named Tracy Chapman. The Cleveland-born folksinger - who would have fit perfectly on Jac Holzman's early Elektra roster - stood at the podium, alone with her guitar, and sang emotionally resonant songs with provocative titles like "Talkin' Bout a Revolution." Those assembled were blown away by Chapman's passion and talent, but mainstream commercial potential? Not so much. Krasnow, on the other hand, heard in Chapman an authentically original voice and personality, fresh and distinct from the current music scene. By the time the two returned to the annual WEA gathering the following August, Chapman's self-titled Elektra debut album had proven an unlikely #1 phenomenon on the Billboard 200, highlighted by the top 10 pop hit, "Fast Car." Ultimately certified six-times platinum by the RIAA, Tracy Chapman also earned Chapman her first two Grammy Awards, for "Best Contemporary Folk Album" and "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance." The album should have been impossible to follow, but 1989's Crossroads proved an inspired, platinum-certified second act. Matters of the Heart was released in 1992, followed three years later by New Beginning, featuring the platinum-certified single, "Give Me One Reason," a top 3 hit on Billboard's "Hot 100" and 1996 Grammy Award winner for "Best Rock Song." Two further Elektra releases followed before Chapman made her Atlantic Records debut with 2007's Where You Live. Hailed as being among the most powerful works of her career, the acclaimed collection fully ratified Tracy Chapman's continuing status as pop's preeminent folk voice.


Selected Discography