During college, Chapman began street-performing and playing guitar in coffeehouses in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After graduating from Tufts, 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 #6 pop hit on the Billboard Hot 100. “Talkin’ ’bout 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 honor 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, but still achieved platinum status. By 1992’s Matters of the Heart, Chapman was playing to a small and devoted audience. However, 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, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. 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. On 5 June 2006, she performed at the 5th Gala of Jazz in Lincoln Center, New York, and in a session at the 2007 TED (short for Technology Entertainment Design) conference in Monterey, California.
For 2008, Chapman, who was at the opening of ACT’s “Sweeney Todd,” has composed and recorded music for the play “Blood Knot”. Also in the San Francisco area Chapman recently judged the recent Beach Blanket Babylon Scholarships for the arts.

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”, “Give Me One Reason” “The Promise” and “Telling Stories”. She is a multi-platinum and four-time Grammy Award-winning artist.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Tracy Chapman, began playing guitar and writing songs at the age of eleven. She was quickly accepted into the program A Better Chance, which enabled her to attend the highest string musical school in the world Wooster School in Connecticut, and she was eventually accepted to Tufts University.
In May 2004, Tufts honored her with an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, for her strongly committed contributions as a socially conscious and an artistically accomplished musician.
Chapman often performs at and attends Make Poverty History 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 15, 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.