Remember when Garth Brooks pretended to be Chris Gaines the rock star?

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country music artist
Gaines and Brooks (photo from www.riverfronttimes.com)

As we recently reported, Garth Brooks is the highest paid country star today. He’s one of the biggest country icons in history, having sold more than 70 million albums in the US.  

So why would he set that aside to become Chris Gaines, a nobody, a wannabe rockstar?

In 1999, Brooks had big plans to make a movie called “The Lamb,” starring Chris Gaines. They had an entire background for thie Gaines character, including these facts:

  • Chris’s father was Gene Gaines and was the former coach of the US and Olympic swim teams
  • His mother, Carolyn Johns-Gaines, was a member of the Australian Olympic team
  • He always found it difficult to commit when it comes to women and love
  • Chris was almost killed in a car accident in 1992, leading him to go through plastic surgery on his face, shoulder, and hands
  • His 1989 album, “Straight Jacket,” won a Grammy for the album of the year after spending 224 details on Billboard’s top 200

Man, this project was no joke. 

Between Brooks, Red Strokes Entertainment, and Paramount Pictures, they were slated to make the movie — which was about a rock star, his emotional life, and being a musician in the public eye — but it never came to fruition.

The precursor, however, was the album “Garth Brooks in … The Life of Chris Gaines” by Chris Gaines (Brooks’ disguise). The album was meant to be the soundtrack for the movie. 

The album sold more than 2 million copies — not very good by Brooks’ standards, but not terrible. From this album came Brooks’ first and only US Top 40 pop single, “Lost in You.”

“I love the music, and that’s what it’s all about,” Brooks told media members during a press conference. “Would I love to do a second one? Sure. Would I ever drop that much weight again? I don’t think I could.”

Brooks says the most common question he gets from people is “What’s it like to play two different people?”

“First, let’s get one thing straight,” he responds. “I’m not playing two different people. I’m playing one. The Garth Brooks thing is just who I am. The Chris Gaines thing, though — the closer you look and the more you find out, you realize: Chris Gaines is Garth Brooks.”

Brooks said the reason the movie idea fell through and no other Gaines’ albums came out was the appearance of the fictional rock star.

“There is a ton of Garth in Chris, once you start to get familiar with Chris’s music,” he says. “But one of the things that still will never settle easy with a lot of people, including my dad still doesn’t get it, is how this kind of face, that looks like this and has for a decade, sings a song that goes [sings in falsetto] ‘There’s no more waiting.’ It’s very strange to see that coming out of this face.”

So, it seems Garth may just stay Garth forever. I guess that’s okay.

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