One of the major reasons people love music is that no matter who you are, you can find parts of it that relate to you regardless of how you look or identify—across the globe, you will witness fans reciting the lyrics of artists who don’t look like them or even speak the same language. With Devynn Hart, Danica Hart, and Trea Swindle (pronounced tree), known collectively as Chapel Hart, their rendition of country music legend Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” on America’s Got Talent served as the universal connector needed to bridge the gaps arising in America and the world.
Born and raised in a small city in Mississippi, the trio got their name from their community, Hart’s Chapel, but also from the familial connection they share.
Performing their song, “You Can Have Him, Jolene“, on America’s Got Talent, the trio’s performance has become one of YouTube’s top trending videos, currently housed at #18. Besides the success, their rendition earned the respect of legends like Dolly Parton and more who’ve all praised the group for their innovative and catchy approach.
In the realm of Country music, there have been a few artists like Lil Nas X whose bold approach to the genre has forced the genre to abandon labels and adjust to the times. But what makes Chapel Hart different is its commitment to the classic feel of the genre and their determination to honor Country’s roots.
Admittedly, Dolly has long shown she’s game for a healthy remix of her songs, but that doesn’t change the level of gratitude the group felt. When asked about it all, their collective response is a mix of joy and disbelief.
“We have been over the moon and excited. It’s truly been life-changing for us,” Devynn TELLS CASSIUS. “
“Over the last twenty-four hours, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn, all the idols are reaching out and talking about us!,” ADDS Trea.
“When the seasoned country queens are talking about you, it truly makes you speechless!” says Danica.
Established in 2014, the group’s efforts to pierce through the Country realm have been far from easy. The divisive and highly charged political environment has inevitably made their ascent harder, but in the eyes of the ladies, their music is “for people who need a smile.”
“We are here to bring people together with great music. It’s all about having a good time and good music,” says Trea.
Despite being recognized as CMT’s Next Women of Country in 2021, the group has struggled to break through in traditional Country cities like Nashville. In various interviews, they’ve been candid about how they didn’t grow up seeing enough representation from Black female country singers. But with the attention they are gaining, including a future collaboration with Darius Rucker, it’s only a matter of time before country greats align with the trio.
“We want to prove to the state of Mississippi and everyone else that all things are possible. You got one life to live. Make sure when you look back and you have no regrets,” says Danica.
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