Tracy Chapman’s secret love affair with The Color Purple author Alice Walker revealed and why singer chose a reclusive life away from spotlight

Tracy Chapman made an incredible comeback at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards last Sunday, belting out her debut 1988 single Fast Car with Luke Combs, the country crooner who helped stage his resurgence in popular culture.

And yet the four-time Grammy winner – who turns the big 6-0 next month – prefers a reclusive lifestyle and has managed to keep her personal life very private.

“I have a public life which is my work life and I have my personal life,” Tracy explain back in 2002.

‘In some ways, the decision to keep the two things separate is related to the work I do. I don’t think I would have anything interesting to write about if I didn’t give myself time to have a life, hang out with my friends or read a book or travel somewhere I’ve always wanted to see . It can be a very strange or unreal lifestyle to be a musician, going from one hotel room to the next.’

Chapman never officially came out as a lesbian, but in the mid-1990s she began a love affair with The Color Purple writer Alice Walker.

Tracy Chapman made quite a comeback at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards last Sunday when she performed her debut 1988 single Fast Car with Luke Combs, the country crooner who helped her resurgence in popular culture.

Tracy Chapman made quite a comeback at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards last Sunday when she performed her debut 1988 single Fast Car with Luke Combs, the country crooner who helped her resurgence in popular culture.

And yet the four-time Grammy winner - who turns the big 6-0 next month - prefers a reclusive lifestyle and has managed to keep her personal life very private

And yet the four-time Grammy winner – who turns the big 6-0 next month – prefers a reclusive lifestyle and has managed to keep her personal life very private

At 79, the Pulitzer Prize winner is 20 years older than the Ohio-born musician, but she ‘loved’ their ‘nice’ under-the-radar romance.

“It may have been quiet for you, but that’s because you didn’t live in our area,” Alice said The guardian in 2006.

“It was lovely and lovely and wonderful and I totally enjoyed it and I was totally in love with her, but it was nobody’s business but ours.”

The Broadway musical of Walker’s novel was adapted in Blitz Bazawule’s $100M budget critically acclaimed movie The Color Purple, which earned only $64.1 million at the global box office last year.

Meanwhile, Tracy’s version of Fast Car just shot to No. 1 on the iTunes Top Songs chart and her self-titled debut album also hit the No. 1 spot.

Luke’s Fast Car cover topped Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and earned a CMA Award last November — making Chapman the first black woman to achieve both.

“I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there,” said the former busker Billboard last july

“I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced Fast Car.”

Tracy (pictured in 1991) never officially came out as a lesbian, but in the mid-1990s she began a love affair with The Color Purple writer Alice Walker.

Alice Walker pictured in 1990

Tracy never officially came out as a lesbian, but in the mid-1990s she began a love affair with The Color Purple writer Alice Walker.

At 79, the Pulitzer Prize winner (pictured in 1998) is 20 years older than Chapman, but she loved their 'nice' under-the-radar romance

Tracy Chapman pictured in 1997

At 79, the Pulitzer Prize winner (pictured left in 1998) is 20 years older than Chapman (right), but she ‘had’ their ‘nice’ under-the-radar romance.

Alice told The Guardian in 2006: 'It might have been quiet for you but that's because you didn't live in our area...It was lovely and lovely and wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I was completely in love with her but it was nobody's business but ours (photo in 2004)

Alice told The Guardian in 2006: ‘It might have been quiet for you but that’s because you didn’t live in our area…It was lovely and lovely and wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I was completely in love with her but it was nobody’s business but ours (photo in 2004)

The Broadway musical of Walker's novel was adapted into Blitz Bazawule's $100 million budget award-winning movie The Color Purple (pictured), which earned just $64.1 million at the global box office last year

The Broadway musical of Walker’s novel was adapted into Blitz Bazawule’s $100 million budget award-winning movie The Color Purple (pictured), which earned just $64.1 million at the global box office last year

The Ohio-born musician's version of Fast Car just shot to No. 1 on the iTunes Top Songs chart and her self-titled debut album also hit the No. 1 spot.

The Ohio-born musician’s version of Fast Car just shot to No. 1 on the iTunes Top Songs chart and her self-titled debut album also hit the No. 1 spot.

Chapman told Billboard last July: 'I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I'm honored to be there.  I'm happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced Fast Car'

Chapman told Billboard last July: ‘I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there. I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced Fast Car’

The North Carolina-born 33-year-old will next compete for five trophies — including song of the year for Fast Car — at the 49th People's Choice Awards, airing Feb. 18 on NBC.

The North Carolina-born 33-year-old will next compete for five trophies — including song of the year for Fast Car — at the 49th People’s Choice Awards, airing Feb. 18 on NBC.

The former busker has not been seen in public since she virtually performed her track Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution on The Late Show with Seth Meyers from 1988 four years ago to encourage voters to participate in the 2020 presidential election.

The former busker has not been seen in public since she virtually performed her track Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution on The Late Show with Seth Meyers from 1988 four years ago to encourage voters to participate in the 2020 presidential election.

Tracy - who released a Greatest Hits in 2015 (pictured) - hasn't released new music since her eighth studio album Our Bright Future back in 2008

Tracy – who released a Greatest Hits in 2015 (pictured) – hasn’t released new music since her eighth studio album Our Bright Future back in 2008

Chapman will next be honored with the Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 International Folk Music Awards, which will take place on February 21 at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, MO.

Chapman will next be honored with the Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 International Folk Music Awards, which will take place on February 21 at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, MO.

The North Carolina-born 33-year-old ended up losing the Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance to Chris Stapleton for his track White Horse.

But Luke will next compete for five trophies — including song of the year for Fast Car — at the 49th People’s Choice Awards, airing Feb. 18 on NBC.

Tracy has not been seen in public since she virtually performed her 1988 track Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution on The Late Show with Seth Meyers four years ago to encourage voters to participate in the 2020 presidential election.

Chapman – who released a Greatest Hits in 2015 – has not released new music since her eighth studio album Our Bright Future in 2008.

The Give Me One Reason singer will next be honored with the Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 International Folk Music Awards, which will take place February 21 at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, MO.