Born in Derby and raised in Essex, Young began her singing career when she was discovered by The Jam frontman, Paul Weller, through an advertisement in Smash Hits magazine for his Respond Records label. Weller's ad solicited demo tapes from female singers between the ages of 18 and 24, for the purpose of hiring a vocalist alongside the group The Questions. Although just 17 years old, Young replied and sent Weller a cassette of a Phoebe Snow-inspired version of the Betty Wright hit "Shoorah Shoorah". Young's tape was singled out from among the hundreds received, and shortly thereafter was invited to London for an audition. Performing old soul numbers "Band of Gold" and "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" for the audition, Young impressed Weller enough to win the job and become his priority signing for the Respond label.
Before recording solo work for Respond, Weller sought to increase exposure for Young. He promptly utilized her for backing vocals on The Jam's final single, "Beat Surrender", which was released on 26 November 1982 and became the band's fourth #1 single. Weller also had Young join the group for their appearance on Top Of The Pops to promote the song.
In January 1983, Young contributed vocals for The Style Council's first single, "Speak Like a Child", and also appeared in the promotional video for the song. As an unofficial member of the group, Young toured with The Style Council for part of 1983, while also performing as a solo artist as part of a Respond package tour.
Young was featured on the cover of the April 9, 1983 issue of New Musical Express with the banner "Tracie: The girl star Paul Weller would build". She was also voted "Most Fanciable Female" in Smash Hits 1983 readers' poll.
Her debut album, Far from the Hurting Kind, was released in 1984 under the name Tracie. It featured production, backing, and songwriting from Weller, as well as an Elvis Costello song written especially for her, "(I Love You) When You Sleep". The album was reissued in Japan in 1996.
Young recorded with The Style Council again in 1985, contributing backing vocals to the song "Boy Who Cried Wolf", a single taken from the album Our Favourite Shop.
Respond ceased operations in 1986 and Young was briefly signed by Polydor. The second album she recorded whilst signed to Polydor, titled No Smoke Without Fire, remains unreleased.
Since the late 1990s Young has enjoyed a second career as a radio presenter, currently working at Southend Radio 105.1, Chelmsford Radio 107.7 and also Connect FM in Peterborough and Northamptonshire. In 2009 Young did a one-off gig, supporting Billy Franks (formerly of The Faith Brothers) at The Shepherd's Bush Empire. The show was on June 6, 2009 and Tracie was backed by Southend rock band, Soliss. In the wake of the show, Young released a self-produced, limited edition six-song EP of previously released material, titled It Happened One Night...And Other Songs .
In 2010, with the cooperation of Young, Cherry Red Records reissued her 1984 debut Far from the Hurting Kind, marking the first time the album has been available in the UK on CD. The 20 track CD features the 10 tracks from the original album release plus 10 bonus tracks.