Tracy Chapman booking
Tracy began writing poetry at an early age and when she was eight she received her first guitar from
her mother. An academic scholarship allowed her to attend high school in Connecticut, before
studying anthropology at Tufts University in Massachusetts. During this time she began playing on the
Boston folk circuit and at local coffeehouses. It wasn’t long before her talents were spotted and in
1987 she signed a recording deal with Elektra.
Her self-titled debut album was released in 1988 and met with immediate critical and commercial
success. An appearance at the Nelson Mandela 70th birthday tribute concert at Wembley Arena in the
same year helped boost her international profile. Album sales shot through the roof following this one
appearance and she went on to sell over 10 million copies and win three Grammy awards. Tracks like
‘Fast Car’ and ‘Baby Can I Hold You’ became instant radio favourites. Although Chapman’s second
album, ‘Crossroads’, went platinum, it failed to match the success of her first outing. While performing
at a number of charity concerts, she continued to write and record songs for her next album – ‘Matters
Of The Heart’. A four year sabbatical led to ’New Beginning’ in 1995, which went some way to
restoring the commercial successes of her debut album, selling three million copies in the US alone.
Another four year sabbatical saw her join the all women Lilith Tour and take part in a Bob Marley
tribute in Jamaica.
Chapman’s fifth album ‘Telling Stories’ was released in 2000 and in 2003 she released ‘Let It Rain’.
Despite never quite regaining the commercial success of her debut album, Chapman continued to
release music to some critical acclaim and her seventh studio album, ‘Where You Live’, hit the streets
in 2005 and was followed by a tour spanning the US and Europe. 2008 saw the release of her latest
album, ‘Our Bright Future’. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary
Folk Recording. In an interview with NPR.org, Chapman explained that she has a “really loyal fan
base” in Europe and will often begin tours there before returning to the US.
During that same interview, Chapman spoke about her work for charity and explained that she is
“approached by lots of organisations” and has to choose who she can help. She said: “I have a certain
interest of my own, generally an interest in human rights, so that’s partly why I’ve supported Amnesty
International for all these years.” In addition to her work with Amnesty International, Chapman has
attended and played at charity events including ‘Make Poverty History’, amfAR, the Foundation of
AIDS research and AIDS/LifeCycle. So, what next for Chapman? In her last 2009 interview she said
that she was coming to the end of a 20 year contract with her record company and was therefore “free
to decide what she wants to do”.
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