TRACY CHAPMAN BIOG
1964 March, 30 Tracy Chapman's birth in Cleveland, Ohio
1982 Tracy graduates from Wooster school, Danbury, CT, and goes on to study at Tufts University, Medford, MA, where she majors in anthropology and African studies in 1986.
1986 Tracy joins an African drum ensemble at College, but develops her own folk guitar playing and performs self-written acoustic songs on the Boston folk circuit. She records demos at Tufts campus radio station, WMFO.
Fellow student Brian Koppelman recommends her to his father, Charles, president of SBK publishing, who in turn introduces her to producer David Kershenbaum and also to Elektra Records where she links up with manager, Elliot Roberts.
Tracy records "For My Lover" for the local paper "Fast Folk Musical Magazine", a Boston Folk magazine sold with a record.
1987 [top] She records her debut album for Elektra with Kershenbaum producing, after several other producers turn her down.
1988 [top] March
Tracy performs 3 nights at the Donmar Warehouse sharing a bill with Natalie Merchant from 10,000 Maniacs.
Debut album’s release.
She plays 2 nights at the Bitter End Club in New York.
Tracy tours the US and plays some selected UK dates supporting labelmates, 10,000 Maniacs.
She appears at the televised Nelson Mandela’s 70th Birthday Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium, Wembley,Great Britain. Her appearance results in Tracy Chapman selling 12,000 copies 2 days later.
Tracy Chapman tops the UK chart, while the extracted Fast Car drives to UK #5.
Tracy Chapman also tops the US survey, as Fast Car hits US #6.
Together with Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Youssou N’Dour, Tracy performs at the start of a six week Human Rights Now! World tour for Amnesty International. The superstar trek will end October, 15 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Talkin’Bout A Revolution peaks at US #75.
Tracy performs at Bridge School Concert Benefit II at Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA.
Baby Can I Hold You makes US #48.
1989 January, 27
Tracy is the winner of BAM’s 1988 Critics Poll (LA’s Music magazine)
Tracy wins the Favorite New Artists Pop/Rock category at the 26th annual American Music Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium, LA., CA.
Tracy is named Best International New Comer at the eight annual BRIT Awards et London Royal Albert Hall . She wins Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for Fast Car, Best Contemporary Folk Recording for Tracy Chapman and Best New Artist at the 31st Annual Grammy Awards.
Tracy collects Female Vocalist, Top Song (Talkin’Bout A Revolution) and Rock Album (Tracy Chapman) at the third SKC Boston Music Awards, at the Wang Center, Boston, MA.
She participates in an AIDS benefit concert at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland CA.
Crossroads peaks at UK #61.
Crossroads release. Co-produced by Chapman and Kershenbaum and featuring musical guests Marc Cohn and Neil Young among others her sophomore effort Crossroads tops the UK chart.
Tracy moves from Boston, Massachussets to San Francisco, California just two weeks before Loma Prieta, the 1989 San Francisco earthquake and ironically says "There's no chance I'm moving somewhere with earthquakes."
Tracy performs at Bridge School Concert Benefit III at Shoreline Amphitheatre.
Crossroads was certified platinum.
Crossroads stales at US #90 as Crossroads hits US #2.
1990 March, 30
The three winners of Crossroads in Black History, a high-school essay contest and education program initiated by Tracy receive scholarships.
Tracy performs at the Nelson Mandela : An International Tribute For A Free South Africa Concert at Wembley Stadium, Wembley.
Tracy embarks on a major summer tour of the US at the Starplex Amphitheater, Dallas, TX set to end on July, 7.
She sings Born To Fight and Freedom Now at a rally for Nelson Mandela at New York’s Yankee Stadium, before a sellout crowd of 53,000.
Tracy takes part in a CBS TV Motown 30 : What’s Goin’On special and sings A Change Is Gonna Come.
1991 [top] January, 16
Tracy inducts the Impressions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at its annual dinner at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
She plays at a Martin Luther King celebration at the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, MN.
Tracy performs at Bridge School Concert Benefit V
1992 March, 14
Tracy performs at Farm Aid V at the Texas Stadium Irving, TX, with Living Colour's Vernon Reid supporting.
Bang Bang Bang [single] release
Matters of the Heart release
Matters Of The Heart debuts at its UK #19 peak.
True Stories : Too White For Me a behind-the-scene look at a Chapman concert in Johannesburg, South Africa, airs on C4-TV.
Matters Of The Heart makes US #53. June, 17 Tracy guests on NBC-TV's The Tonight Show.
Dreaming on a world [single] release
She headlines the ANC 80th anniversary celebration at London's Brixton Academy, during current European tour.