Born on this day in Cleveland, Ohio, singer/songwriter Tracy Chapman (1964-) was raised on soul and gospel music and begun plucking a ukulele at a young age. She quickly moved on to acoustic guitar while developing an early interest in making the world a better place.
"As a child, I always had a sense of social conditions and political situations," she explained. "Mother was always discussing things with... me--also because I read a lot."
Majoring in anthropology and African Studies, Chapman got her big break during Nelson Mandela's 70th birthday concert, televised from London's Wembley Stadium in 1988.
"There's only so far you can push people before they start to push back, and I've seen that in my life," said the talented singer.
Writing relevant lyrics to stir social consciousness, Chapman released the critically acclaimed first album, self-titled Tracy Chapman (1988), which featured the international hit Fast Car. That same year, along with Peter Gabriel, Sting, and Bruce Springsteen, she made history with the six-week Human Rights Now! tour for Amnesty International.
Calling music her "vocation" created with "passion," Chapman has mellowed with maturity and success. "You can do more than be angry; you can do something about what's making you angry."
"I'm inspired by things I read. I'm inspired by people I meet. I'm inspired by thinking about the world and the potential--and the sometimes lack of potential--there sometimes seems to be."
Consider what's POSSIBLE.