NAMES IN THE NEWS : Tracy Chapman Shuns Fame

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

Folk singer Tracy Chapman shuns the fame she quickly found after her 1988 debut album soared to the top of the charts and won her three Grammy awards, including best new artist.

“I guess if there were some way to choose what I wanted or didn’t want from what my success has brought me, I would choose not to have the celebrity,” Chapman said in an interview in the March 12 issue of Time.

“I don’t think I’m very good at it.”

Chapman’s first album, “Tracy Chapman,” hit No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts and sold 10 million copies. Her second album, “Crossroads,” has sold 4 million copies since its release five months ago. The albums mix songs protesting poverty and racism with love songs.


Chapman, who begins an American tour in May, said she is hurt by criticism of her music by other blacks.

“There are people who have gone so far as to say that I’m not black or not part of the black musical tradition,” she said. “I think the reason I don’t get played on black radio stations is because I don’t fit into their present format.

“I’m upset by what has been said because it doesn’t speak well of black people. You know, it basically says black people don’t respond in a cerebral manner to music, and that’s just not true.”