Writing her first song when she was only eight, Tracy Chapman's mix of social politics and heartfelt storytelling made her one of the most popular and respected singer-songwriters of the late 1980s. Raised in a tough working class neighbourhood in Cleveland, Tracy won a scholarship to Tufts University, Massachusetts where she began busking and playing coffee houses. Shortly after the release of her self-titled debut album, a captivating performance at the Nelson Mandela's 70th Birthday Tribute concert held at Wembley Stadium and broadcast to an audience 600 million in 67 countries transformed Chapman into a huge star. The album shot to Number 1 in America, Britain, Canada and Germany, while single Fast Car became a massive worldwide hit. A shy, deeply private character, Chapman's intelligent lyrics and velvet voice continue to charm a large, loyal audience, but only fourth album New Beginning (1995) has come close to repeating the commercial success of her debut. In 1997 Boyzone's cover version of Chapman's Baby Can I Hold You Tonight made it to Number 2 in the UK, and she re-recorded the song with Luciano Pavarotti for a Tibetan charity in 2001.