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Chapel Hart Met Dolly Parton and She Smelled Like ‘Baby’s Dreams and Angel Tears’ (Exclusive)

Country trio Chapel Hart finally got to meet Dolly Parton three years after they released a song inspired by her famous ballad “Jolene.”

“Every country music fan has on their list to meet Dolly Parton one day, and today our dream came true. We got to meet Dolly Parton in the flesh,” Danica Hart, who founded Chapel Hart along with sister Devynn Hart and cousin Trea Swindle, exclusively told Us Weekly at CMA Fest on Tuesday, June 4.

“Dolly held these two hands,” Danica continued. “I used to make fun of people who say, ‘I’m never washing these hands again.’ I need a bathroom break in a little bit and I got some decisions to make because do I wash them or no?!”

Trea chimed in to say that Parton’s “outfits are even more fabulous up close than they are on the screen” and joked about raiding her wardrobe.

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“If I were two feet shorter, I would be in her closet right now,” she said, quipping that Parton, 78, smelled “like baby’s dreams and angel tears.”

Chapel Hart released their song “You Can Have Him Jolene” in 2021 and performed it during their audition for America’s Got Talent the following year. The original tune earned a standing ovation from all four judges and prompted the panel to use a Group Golden Buzzer for only the second time in the show’s history.

Chapel Hart Met Dolly Parton and She Smelled Like ‘Baby’s Dreams and Angel Tears’
Danica Hart, Dolly Parton. Getty Images(2)

The song found its way to Parton, who retweeted Chapel Hart’s AGT performance in July 2022, calling it “a fun new take on my song.” Danica and Trea had an opportunity to talk to the country music icon about the tune when they met her in person.

“She was like, ‘I heard that, that was so good,’” Danica recalled, noting that Parton’s hairstylist brought up the song because she and Trea “just couldn’t talk” out of excitement. “It was the most down to earth thing that I’ve ever heard in my life. She said, ‘That bitch Jolene has made me a lot of money.’ And I was like, ‘And I’m hoping she does the same for us.’ We just laughed for a minute, it was a magical moment.”

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Unlike the original “Jolene,” on which Parton begs a woman with “ivory skin and eyes of emerald green” not to take her man even though she can, “You Can Have Him Jolene” tells the other woman that the wandering man is her problem now.

“Oh, Jolene, you can have him ’cause he don’t mean much to me / Well, I cried so much ’til rivers turned to seas / Oh, Jolene, when you think that he’s in love, he’ll surely leave like he did me / You can have him, Jolene,” Chapel Heart sings on the chorus.

Chapel Hart Met Dolly Parton and She Smelled Like ‘Baby’s Dreams and Angel Tears’
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The country act has heard Beyoncé’s take on “Jolene” — the “Halo” singer, 42, released a cover of the song in March with lyrical changes that warned and intimidated Jolene rather than pleading with her — but they stand by their version.

“I understand what Beyoncé did with hers. Like, you know, ‘He’s my man, I’m gonna fight for him.’ [But we’re like], ‘Uh-uh honey, keep him. Ain’t nobody got time for that,’” Trea joked.

“However you show up in the world, there is a solution for what you should do to Jolene,” Danica added.

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The cousins also spoke to the increasing diversity in country music and the renewed interest in the genre after Beyoncé released Cowboy Carter, which many have called a country album, in March.

“I feel like it’s an honor for the rest of the world to experience country at its core,” Trea said. “Country doesn’t have a color. Country is a way of life. It’s a feeling. And it’s beautiful that the rest of the world is starting to see that. It might have been portrayed in the mass media in one specific light. But the truth of the matter is, it’s country everywhere.”

Danica agreed that she loves “the moment that country’s having” because it shines light on what has existed all along.

“There’s so many people, like Trea said, that [are] living the country experience,” she said. “Now they get to be represented.”

With reporting by Jeremy Parsons

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