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Jeannie Seely Celebrates 55th Grand Ole Opry Anniversary And Chapel Hart Makes Anticipated Debut

Chapel Hart received a standing ovation following their three-song set – WATCH!

A congratulatory toast for country icon Jeannie Seely is in order.

The marvel was honored at the Grand Ole Opry Saturday (Sept. 17) evening for her 55 years of membership and more than 5,000 appearances at the sacred venue. The hitmaker has stepped into the hallowed circle more than any artist in Opry history.

The Grammy Award winner was welcomed into the Opry in 1967 and was praised for her progressive storytelling. Seely quickly became a trailblazer for women within the country music landscape with empowering anthems, “Who Needs You” and “Don’t Touch Me.” After using her powerful platform to advocate for fairer representation, Seely became the first female to regularly host 30-minute segments on the Opry.

Miss Country Soul was once challenged for wearing a miniskirt on stage but stood her ground against Opry Manager, Ott Devine. In the 2019 Ken Burns’ “Country Music” documentary, she opened up about the incident and explained how she demanded a dress code change.

“Okay, this is what America is wearing, and I’ll make you a deal,” she previously declared to Devine. “I won’t wear a miniskirt in the back door if you don’t let anybody wear one in the front door.”

That was far from the first time Seely used her voice to make a difference within the genre. Seely received The Standing Ovation Award in 2019 at the influencing Women Awards Gala and assisted with the Opry Trust Fund. The vocalist became the first Pennsylvania native to join the world-renowned theater and has worked alongside more than 10 Country Music Hall of Fame members.

Gina Keltner/Talent Director Grand Ole Opry, Seely, Dan Rogers/Vice President and Executive Producer, Grand Ole Opry

Gina Keltner/Talent Director Grand Ole Opry, Seely, Dan Rogers/Vice President and Executive Producer, Grand Ole Opry

The Opry gifted the chart-topping artist with a framed collage during her memorable set.

“This is such a special night. I don’t even know what to say,” said Seely. “I’m just enjoying every second of it, and I will never take it for granted when I come through the Opry doors. I was thinking maybe I should wear a gown for this special occasion and then I thought, you know, if they’ are not impressed with me after 55 years a gown ain’t gonna do it now. But I didn’t come here 55 years ago to impress you, I came to entertain you. And I hope that I still can.”

Following the full-circle moment, the hitmaker introduced family trio Chapel Hart to the stage for their highly anticipated debut. The Mississippi-based band comprised of sisters Devynn and Danica Hart and their cousin, Trea Swindle stepped within the circle for the first time in matching emerald green ensembles.

The “America’s Got Talent” finalists received an Opry invitation for their show-stopping performance of Dolly Parton-inspired track “You Can Have Him Jolene.” The Golden-buzzer act caught the attention of the Opry and peaked at No.1 on iTunes.

Chapel Hart brought their fierce energy and R&B-country sound to the Opry spotlight. Ticket-holders jumped out of the church-like pews to give the well-deserved group a standing ovation after their three-song debut.

The singers shared their patriotic anthem “American Pride,” the number they performed at the grand finale of “AGT.” Shortly after their televised routine, the group received flak for their nerves-induced vocals.

“We didn’t make it halfway through the song,” Danica explained to the respectful concert-goers. “The first notes started, and we started boo-hooing on ‘America’s Got Talent’ before the song even started. So, tonight we want to dedicate this to the men and women who lay it all on the line day in and day out,” she added before they displayed the recognizable harmonies.

The girl group completed their bucket-list show with “You Can Have Him Jolene.” The venue confirmed that Chapel Hart would make another appearance on Oct. 8 to celebrate the Grand Ole Opry’s 97th birthday.

“Not often are we at a loss for words, but this is one for the history books!!” wrote the Poplarville superstars.

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