Do you remember 1999? the was the year we lived in fear of Y2K, ended up being obsessed through The Matrix, and first heard Britney Spears’ “…Baby One an ext Time.” that was also the year best-selling country singer Garth Brooks produced a crazy alter-ego called Chris Gaines—and perplexed the heck out of every his fans. However was Brooks’ wacky scheme actually an plot of musical genius? here’s a look into one that the wildest advancement stunts of every time.

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Why did Garth Brooks have An alter Ego?

Garth Brooks to be a megastar in ~ the rotate of the 20th century. Due to the fact that kicking off his music job in the late 1980s, the artist had released eight chart-topping studio albums, a record-breaking live album, and had completed two enormously successful human being tours. He to be a bonafide nation music legend that had managed to come to be mainstream, together well.

In September the 1999, the singer made decision to branch out even further and get creative in a whole brand-new (and confusing!) way. That was as soon as he released an album referred to as Garth Brooks…In the Life of kris Gaines, and left pan (and critics!) about the people scratching their heads.

The album covering featured a close-up the Brooks’ face, however, the did not look like his normal, country-hat-wearing self. Instead, the singer sported dark and also messy bangs, heavily-lined eyes, a brooding glare, and also a spirit patch. The music was additionally not what fans expected. Instead of featuring his trademark country twang, the songs on the album had more of a pop-rock-alternative type of sound.

(Capitol Records)

Clearly, Brooks wanted to experiment v a brand-new music genre and also explore a new style, however the inquiry was, why go he have to become Chris Gaines to execute it? transforms out, there to be a sound reason behind his transformation, however it was anything yet simple.

Chris Gaines’ Backstory

The real reason Garth Brooks took on the chris Gaines persona was to create buzz for a movie that had not even been made yet. called The Lamb, the film to be to monitor the wild life that a rock-and-roll star named Chris Gaines. Brooks had actually devised a dramatic, soap opera-esque backstory because that the character the included auto wrecks, contract disputes, sex addiction, and also even reconstructive challenge surgery.

Garth Brooks…In the Life of kris Gaines was released a year front of the planned movie release to pique curiosity around the fictitious musician. In addition to the album, a faux documentary in the style of VH1’s Behind the Music to be unleashed ~ above unsuspecting TV audiences. Special Garth together Gaines, the present had skilled actors playing the far-reaching people in Gaines’ life. To say viewers were perplexed would be an understatement.

Brooks topped off the promotional hoax top top November 13, 1999 by hosting Saturday Night Live with—you guessed it—Chris Gaines together the music guest. One skit even featured funnyman Tracy Morgan trash-talking Gaines best to Brooks’ face, not realizing they to be the same person.

Why chris Gaines to be Unsuccessful

Despite every the effort that was put into developing a huge buzz about Chris Gaines, the promotion strategy was a significant fail. The album was a large disappointment, selling just 700,000 copes by April 1, 2000, and two million in total. To placed that in context, Brooks’ ahead album, Sevens, offered over 10 million copies.

To include insult to injury, The Lamb never became made since the solution to the Gaines human being was therefore poor. Most people just didn’t obtain what Brooks was doing, much to the singer’s chagrin. “A lot of human being misunderstood it, and also my ribs room still sore from getting the kicked out of me for it,” he joked in an interview critical year through Yahoo.

But Brooks also said there were a few sly fans that were on board with Chris Gaines and actually favored the music. “You realize the the civilization who obtained it, got it,” that said. “And the civilization who never obtained it, never picked that up. Therefore that makes me feel good, because I got to tell you, I’m surprised you brought this up, yet everybody that ever does mention it to me says it’s their favorite Garth Brooks album.”

Will kris Gaines do A Comeback?

Fortunately, Garth Brook quickly recovered indigenous the kris Gaines fallout. His following album, Scarecrow, to be certified five-times platinum by the Recording market Association the America and also sold more than five million copies in the U.S. Alone. The country star likewise found love and also married fellow country crooner Trisha Yearwood in 2005—and the pair is quiet going strong, despite rumors that otherwise.

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Now that two decades have passed, would Garth Brooks consider letting chris Gaines make comeback? throughout an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Yearwood stated she was all for it—“I love the record!” she yelled. Brooks didn’t expose much however did say, “Oh, i don’t know. I do think that would certainly make 2020 complete.”

In the meantime, Brooks is collection to relax his following album, Fun, ~ above November 20, 2020.

What’s your opinion of chris Gaines—would you choose to watch him resurrected or should Brooks’ change ego continue to be in 1999?