After becoming overnight sensations last month, Chapel Hart has remained unstoppable. Their breakout performance on this season’s America’s Got Talent led to a standing ovation and a never-before-seen golden buzzer moment from the show’s entire judging panel. After witnessing the audition to the group’s original song, “You Can Have Him Jolene,” millions across the world have now been introduced to the incredible country trio that is Chapel Hart.
Made up of two sisters, Danica and Devynn Hart, along with their cousin, Trea Swindle, Chapel Hart showcase their Mississippi roots and outstanding harmonies with every song they release. Their energy is infectious and filled with pure joy, both in real life and on their records. It’s not surprising to see that the trio are now the frontrunners for this season’s AGT, already reaching the top of the iTunes country charts with their album, The Girls Are Back in Town.
Chapel Hart are not only preparing for their next primetime performance, but they are also touring, releasing merch, and trying to process their sudden rise to virality. Being recognized by their lifelong idol, Dolly Parton, has also not been taken lightly! With the way their careers are headed, Chapel Hart has several more chart-topping moments ahead of them, and we should all be buckled in for the ride.
Pop Crave had an amazing chat with Chapel Hart, including exclusives about their upcoming album, working with Darius Rucker, and what they have in store for their next America’s Got Talent performances.
Congratulations on the amazing success you guys are having this year! So much is happening in your world right now, so I wanted to ask: What was it like to go completely viral overnight?
Devynn: It was kind of mind blowing and kind of overwhelming because you go from however many followers we had to hundreds and thousands of new people overnight, and you get an influx of comments and people being so nice and sending their love. It was just a super, super awesome feeling.
Danica: It’s the most overwhelmingly beautiful thing that has ever happened. Like, it’s overwhelming but in the best way that you ever want to be overwhelmed. All the love and support that’s come with it has been amazing. It’s been the most rewarding part.
Trea: I honestly feel like it doesn’t matter how great something might be, because whenever it comes to these internet comments, people will find something to have a negative post about… But honestly, after going through maybe 500 Twitter comments, there was only one negative comment. Two days later, he tweeted three more times saying, “I’m so sorry! I went back and listened! I apologize! I apologize!” I was like, “Wow! Even the trolls are on our side!”
After watching your performance on America’s Got Talent, I immediately binge-listened to your entire discography – I’m obsessed! One of my favorite songs is “Made for Me,” and I think the song perfectly encapsulates what’s happening in your careers right now. Can you tell me a little bit about growing up in Poplarville, Mississippi, and how your upbringing there has led you to today?
Devynn: Poplarville is super, super, super small! No more super than that. Growing up in Poplarville, everything is based around country living. That’s how we grew up. People often ask why we chose country music but really, in all reality, that’s just how we grew up. Go to the store, you’re on the bus, or anywhere you go in town, you’re gonna hear country music.
Danica: And it’s like you said. When you walk by, you talk about third degree offense. If you walk past somebody and you don’t say “hey,” it doesn’t matter if you know them or not. You speak!
Trea: Or if you’re in the car and somebody lets you into traffic, and you don’t wave and say “thank you,” they’ll probably cut you off just out of spite!
Danica: They’re calling your momma because they know her [laughs]! I think we’re a super depiction of Poplarville and a small town. People meet us and they’re like, “Oh my God, y’all are so down to earth and y’all are so nice,” you know? And I mean, that’s just kind of how we were raised. We’re also kind of shocked that people aren’t like that [laughs]!
Trea: Growing up in Poplarville was legit like every summer country song from the ‘90s. We played outside barefoot, running up and down the road, swimming in the creeks, and pretty much anything and everything that is quintessentially country.
I watched your Instagram Live the night that your AGT performance came out, and I loved the story about how you guys almost declined the audition so that you could continue to focus on touring. Even today, you guys are still touring! What is your favorite part about touring and how much does the experience of playing live shows mean to you?
Devynn: For me personally, I love going to different cities to try the food… unless we’re far up north…
Trea: It’s all about the food. We’re not really singers. We’re actually undercover food critics, and touring is our cover to just go and try all the food [laughs]!
Now I have to talk about the big moment… being recognized by THE Dolly Parton, as well as many other iconic country artists! When can we expect the Dolly Parton collab and how did you react to finding out that Dolly had seen your performance?
Danica: Oh my God!!! How does it feel to be recognized? It feels like we’re the only girls in the world, okay! At that moment, Dolly only saw Chapel Hart. It didn’t matter that there were 1,000,000,565 people who also saw us because we were like, “No! She only loves us right now!” It was the most moving moment for our idol and the lady who we feel like has it all.
Trea: She’s like our fairy godmother and doesn’t even know it!
Danica: Auntie Dolly! For her to just acknowledge that we exist in life…
Devynn: Dolly doesn’t have to say anything else to me for the rest of her life, and honestly I would still be satisfied! But of course, I would want her to say something…
Trea: I know you said the collab, but I feel like I’m gonna have to get one of those cardboard cutouts to practice with. If we don’t start singing, it’s because we just passed out! It would take, like, months to film [laughs]!
Not only have you been at the top of the country charts on iTunes with your album, ‘The Girls Are Back in Town,’ but you’ve also been at the top of the overall chart on iTunes next to huge names like Lizzo! Do you guys have a favorite song from the album that you connect with the most?
Trea: The song from our album that connected with me the most has to be the title track, “The Girls Are Back in Town,” because it’s kind of like, “Just to let you know, in case you didn’t know, we’re back! We’re here!” Once we get our foot through the door, we’re snatching it off the hinges and we’re here.
Danica: I’m gonna go with something a little lighter. I don’t know about connecting with it the most, but it’s one of my favorites for sure. It’s “Nearly Over You” on the album. When we first kind of started making our way into the public… Making our way downtown, walking fast, faces pass, and I’m homebound [Trea hums]… Once we did that, a lot of people would not listen to our music. They would look at us and be like, “That ain’t country!” We released “Nearly Over You” as the first song on the album, and most people are like, “Do not start your album with a ballad!” We were like, “Watch us!” It’s also by far one of my favorites because it was our ode to Patsy Cline and all of her greats and hits. If you go back and listen to the song, you have to listen to all of the nods that we made to Patsy Cline. That’s by far one of my favorites that I think I’ve connected with the most.
Devynn: Well, I’m gonna be a little different [laughs]… I really have a lot of favorites on this album, but friend, we have this song that’s going to be coming on our next album…
Trea: Not the secrets!
Devynn: I’m dropping the secret!
Trea: Oh, you’re getting the exclusive!
Devynn: We’re talking about songs that we can really connect with, and we have this song called “Dear Tequila,” and literally it’s the story of my life.
Trea: And that’s the [Pop Crave] exclusive!
Devynn: So when it comes out, I want you to think about me whenever you hear it. You’re gonna be like, “This is how she does?” Yes, friend, that is me!
Trea: You know how they used to have sing-alongs? I think that should be a drink-along!
You know what’s even better than your AGT performance of “You Can Have Him Jolene”? The music video for “You Can Have Him Jolene”! It’s so hilarious and I’ve watched it countless times! How fun was it to shoot that music video?
Devynn: Oh my gosh, by far my favorite video that we’ve ever done!
Danica: It’s so fun! Some artists are always like, “I don’t like to hear myself,” but some days when I wake up in the morning and things just ain’t going right, I start the day with a wig snatch! I put on the video! The one thing that I love about “You Can Have Him Jolene” is from concept, to writing it, to the studio, to the music video, the energy was always there. A lot of times, you lose that. In songwriting and by the time it gets to somebody, and every time it gets transcribed or something has to be done to it, it kinda…
Trea: It’s like something gets lost in translation.
Danica: Yes! And “You Can Have Him Jolene” was just energy all the way through. The energy in the video was the energy on the video shoot. The energy in the song is what was in the studio… We still get excited about that song!
Devynn: My first time going to jail! I was so excited!
Big things are on the horizon, including a collaboration with THE Darius Rucker that will be featured on his next album! What was it like working with Darius, and what can fans expect from the song?
Danica: Let me first start by saying that in 2022, it was a very distant collaboration [laughs]. One of my favorite things about the collaboration was the way Darius was like, “Chapel Hart, I have this song that I have, and I can just hear y’all on it!” He was like, “You know, some oohs and ahhs. I’m gonna give it to you. Y’all just do what you do and shoot it back over to me.” We took it, put the thing down, flipped it, and reversed it! It was like shaboom! We put a lot on there because we were like, “Look, we’d rather give you more and you can take off whatever you need. We’re not offended by any stretch of the imagination.” We send it back and then we’re like, “Ooh,” and he was like, “Got it. Thanks.” And we were like, “Oh, maybe it wasn’t as good as we thought!” So, two weeks go by and nothing. Then all of a sudden, we get sent the mind blown emoji. Darius Rucker is like, “What the fuck! Y’all blew this out the water!” He was like, “That’s what we were looking for!” Highly anticipated… Even before we got on it, I was like, “Woah!” It was incredible.
Trea: It was pretty awesome, and I’m just wondering when he’s gonna release it. You can only imagine how hard we were trying to keep all of that a secret. He sent it to us and we sent it back, but you can’t really say that somebody else is releasing a song until they’re ready to release it. As soon as he said it, mhmm, we gotta tell everybody!
Have you guys been preparing already for your next performance on America’s Got Talent, and is there anything you can say about what fans can expect next from you on the show?
Devynn: [Pop Crave], do you want us to be honest [laughs]? Since our AGT performance aired, we have been so freaking busy. We’ve been so busy that we haven’t even had time to sit down and really think about it.
Danica: The only thing that we can kind of exclusively tell you is that we think we can take our chance at all original music… We did a little research and found out that no one has ever won America’s Got Talent with original music all the way through! It’ll be our attempt. Win, lose, or draw, we’re betting on ourselves. That’s about as far as we got for thoughts on AGT [laughs]! We leave Saturday to go and start, and then we’ll start getting our lives together. [Pop Crave], I do have a question: How hyped are you gonna be if we do a song that you already know from the album?
I’ll be calling the phone number! My votes will be cast!
Purchase Chapel Hart’s new merch here: http://www.chapelhart.com/shop
Chapel Hart’s album, The Girls Are Back in Town, is out now.