On any television game show involving judging or audience votes, there is always an amount of griping about decisions that are made. On the ‘Got Talent franchise, the golden buzzer, which gives a limited number of contestants a special pass to the semi-finals, is a particular point of contestation.
Fan comments on social media and press articles often suggest that a deserving act was “robbed” of the golden buzzer. In the case of Chapel Hart, which appeared on America’s Got Talent 2022, few people would argue that their audition didn’t deserve the golden buzzer, even though Chapel Hart is a country group, and country can be divisive. Listen up y’all.
Chapel Hart’s reworking of one of Dolly Parton’s best-loved songs worked in the vocal trio’s favour. In recent years, Dolly Parton’s popularity has spread to people who would not normally go within a country mile of country music. Dolly Parton has become an icon, and Jolene is one of a few tracks by Parton that people who like the idea of Dolly but don’t actually listen to much of her music are likely to know and love. Chapel Hart’s revision of the song certainly got a warm response at AGT.
Chapel Hart’s version is an update of Parton’s song. “We love the storyline, but we figured that from 1973 to 2022 we could not still be fighting over the same man; we decided to tell her you can just have him Jolene.” As you’ve seen, the judges and host Terry Crews were so enthused that they gave the trio a group golden buzzer (taking them through to the live show) for only the second time in the show’s history. Meanwhile, the first lady of country, Loretta Lynn, saw the show & sent a tweet.
As Chapel Hart explain in the video, Loretta Lynn said she loved their interpretation of Jolene and she was wondering what the trio could do with one of her songs. Loretta Lynn died of a stroke at the age of 90 less than three months later. On hearing the news, the band posted on Facebook on 4 October 2022: “Sweet Sweet Loretta, words cannot describe how heartbroken we are. We were literally just working through our song for you yesterday on the road, we think you’d be stoked to know we are EXTENDING Fist City.”
The radio interview in the video above was posted two weeks ago, as the band prepares to release their third album (the first after AGT), which the group hopes will gain them an international audience.
Chapel Hart is a trio of country singers from Poplarville, Mississippi. Made up of sisters Danica Hart and Devynn Hart and their cousin, Trea Swindle, the group started recording as Hyperphlyy. After the release of their first album, Out the Mud (2019), the group changed their name to Chapel Hart, after a church in their hometown, which was named after the area where the Hart family has lived for several generations. In 2020, Chapel Hart released Jesus & Alcohol, a standalone single featuring Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top on guitar! Gibbons also appears in the video:
After the release of their second album, The Girls Are Back in Town (2021), Chapel Hart was approached by an agent for AGT. Initially, the group resisted the overtures, but the agent was persistent. Chapel Hart were eliminated in the finals of AGT 2022. Chapel Hart’s latest LP, Welcome to Fist City, is scheduled for release on 29 May 2023. If you would like to see more from Chapel Hart, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel or follow them on Facebook.