Chapel Hart, a country trio of sisters and cousins hailing from Mississippi, auditioned for the smash-hit NBC competition show. Danica Hart, Trea Swindle and Devynn Hart stepped out onto the stage before the panel of celebrity judges to perform an original song, “You Can Have Him, Jolene.”
“We’ve always been country music fans, and Dolly is by far our favorite,” Danica explained of the song. “…We were so inspired by the song ‘Jolene,’ and we just loved the storyline. We figured, though, from 1973 to 2022, we could not still be fighting over this same man. So, we decided to tell her, you can just have him, Jolene!”
The high-energy, Parton-inspired performance earned roaring cheers and applause from the audience. Chapel Hart also earned high praise from the judges: Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sophia Vergara.
“Trust me, I needed you today,” Cowell told the trio, following a standing ovation and chanting from the crowd. “I mean, that was fantastic. … it was just brilliant.”
Danica emotionally explained, when asked whether the group has been trying to land a record deal: “We’ve been trying to break into Nashville for the last couple years, but it’s been kind of hard when, I think country music doesn’t always look like us.”
Cowell replied, “…you’ve just got to break down that door, and you may have just broken down the door with that performance, trust me.”
Ultimately, all four judges (and host Terry Crews) huddled together and opted to award Chapel Hart with a “group golden buzzer,” sending the trio straight to the live shows.
Parton couldn’t help but respond to the heartwarming audition that was inspired by her song, and took a moment to call attention to husband Carl Dean’s birthday in the process. She wrote in a tweet, adding a winking emoji:
“What a fun new take on my song, @ChapelHartBand! Carl's birthday is today so I think I'll hang on to him, and I'm not notifying Jolene that today is his birthday #AGT”
Chapel Hart gushed as they retweeted the country legend’s reaction: “Here ye! Here ye! The QUEEN has spoken!!! And can somebody call the mortician cause we just died a little bit.”