[lang_fr]Tracy Chapman: Biographie[/lang_fr][lang_en]Tracy Chapman: Biography[/lang_en]

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Tracy Chapman (née le 30 mars 1964 à Cleveland, Ohio) est une auteure compositrice interprète américaine.

Elle est élevée par sa mère dans la banlieue de sa ville natale. Elle va chanter tous les dimanches à l’église de son quartier avec sa mère. Elle n’abandonne pas pour autant ses études pour la musique. Elle part dans le Connecticut pour suivre des études d’anthropologie et s’intéresse aussi au métier de vétérinaire.

Après avoir eu son diplôme, elle passe son temps libre à chanter dans les bars de Boston. Elle devient alors l’une des idoles de la scène folk locale, elle est repérée par le fils du patron qui deviendra plus tard sa maison de disques. C’est en 1988 qu’elle publie son premier album, il est produit par David Kershenbaum. On la découvre le 11 juin 1988 lors d’un concert de soutien en Afrique du Sud, elle chantera contre la pauvreté, le racisme et pour une amélioration de la condition féminine. Le lendemain elle vendra 75000 albums au Royaume-Uni et sera élue chanteuse de l’année aux États-Unis.

Elle participera plus tard à des concerts aux côtés de Sting, Peter Gabriel et Bruce Springsteen. À ce jour elle a sorti 7 albums et 1 best-of.

Albums :

1988: Tracy Chapman
1989: Crossroads
1992: Matters of the Heart
1995: New Beginning
2000: Telling Stories
2001: Collection (best-of, contient des titres des albums de 1988 à 2000)
2002: Let It Rain
2005: Where You Live

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Tracy Chapman (born March 30, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, best known for her singles, « Fast Car », « Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution », « Baby Can I Hold You » and « Give Me One Reason ». She is a multi-platinum and multi-Grammy Award-winning artist.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Tracy Chapman began playing guitar and writing songs at the age of eight years old. She was accepted into A Better Chance, the national resource for identifying, recruiting and developing leaders among academically gifted students of color, which enabled her to attend Wooster School in Connecticut, and was eventually accepted to Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

In May 2004, Tufts honored her with an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, for her contributions as a socially conscious and artistically accomplished musician.

Chapman often performs at and attends AIDS charity events such as amfAR and AIDS/LifeCycle.

Although Chapman has never spoken publicly about her sexuality, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker discussed her love affair with Chapman in an interview with The Guardian on December 15th 2006. She explained why they did not go public with their relationship at the time (the mid 1990s), and said « [the relationship] was delicious and lovely and wonderful and I totally enjoyed it and I was completely in love with her but it was not anybody’s business but ours. »


During college, Chapman began street-performing and playing guitar in coffeehouses in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After waiting to graduate college, she signed to Elektra Records, releasing Tracy Chapman (1988). The album was critically acclaimed, and she began touring and building a fanbase. Soon after she performed it at the televised Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert in June 1988, Chapman’s « Fast Car » began its rise on the US charts, eventually becoming a Top 10 pop hit on the Billboard Hot 100. « Talkin’ About A Revolution, » the follow-up, charted at #75, and was followed by « Baby Can I Hold You, » which peaked at #48 The album sold well, going multi-platinum and winning three Grammy Awards, including an honour for Chapman as Best New Artist. Later in 1988, Chapman was a featured performer on the worldwide Amnesty International Human Rights Now! Tour. According to the VH1 website, « her album helped usher in the era of political correctness — along with 10,000 Maniacs and R.E.M., Chapman’s liberal politics proved enormously influential on American college campuses in the late ’80s ».

Her follow-up album Crossroads (1989) was less commercially successful. By 1992’s Matters of the Heart, Chapman was playing to a small and devoted audience. However, to the surprise of most industry-watchers, Chapman’s fourth 1995 album New Beginning proved successful, selling over 3 million copies just in the U.S. This album included the hit single « Give Me One Reason » which won the 1997 Grammy for Best Rock Song and became Chapman’s most successful single to date. The following album was 2000’s Telling Stories, which featured more of a rock sound than folk. Its hit single « Telling Stories » received heavy airplay on European radio stations, and on Adult Alternative and Hot AC stations in the United States. Her sixth album was Let It Rain (2002), in support of which she toured in Europe and the US in 2003.

Where You Live, Chapman’s seventh studio album, was released in September 2005. A brief supporting tour took place in major cities across the US in October and continued throughout Europe over the remainder of the year. The « Where You Live » tour was extended into 2006, the 28 date European tour featured summer concerts in Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, Finland, Norway, U.K, Russia and more. In addition, on the 5th June 2006, Tracy performed at the 5th Gala of Jazz in Lincoln Center, New York.

Tracy Chapman performed in a session titled « Tales Of Passion » at the 2007 TED (short for Technology Entertainment Design) conference in Monterey, California.

Tracy was last seen at a Sonya Kitchell concert in San Francisco. « The last few days I met Tracy Chapman who came to our show in San Francisco and I’m a really big fan and it was so great to be able to talk with her and hang out with her. » – Sonya Kitchell


Tracy Chapman – vocals, guitar
Joe Gore – guitars, keyboards
Quinn – drums
Kiki Ebsen – keyboards, backing vocals


1988 – Tracy Chapman
(US #1) RIAA: (US: 6x Platinum) (UK #1)
« Fast Car » (US #6, UK #5)
« Talkin’ ‘Bout A Revolution » (US #75, UK #85)
« Baby Can I Hold You » (US #48, UK #94)
1989 – Crossroads
(US #9) RIAA: (US: Platinum) (UK #1)
« Crossroads » (US #90, UK #61)
« Subcity »
« All That You Have Is Your Soul »
1992 – Matters of the Heart
(US #53) RIAA: (US: Gold) (UK #19)
« Bang Bang Bang »
« Dreaming On A World »
1995 – New Beginning
(US #4) RIAA: (US: 5x Platinum)
« Give Me One Reason » (US #3)
« New Beginning »
« Smoke and Ashes »
« The Promise »
2000 – Telling Stories
(US #33) RIAA: (US: Gold)
« Telling Stories »
2001 – Collection
(UK #3)
« Baby Can I Hold You »
2002 – Let It Rain
(US #25) (UK #36)
« You’re The One »
« Another Sun »
2005 – Where You Live
(US #49) (UK #43)
« Change »
« America »

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