Garth Brooks Plans To Revive Alter Ego Chris Gaines, Teases Five New Gaines’ Albums Are On The Way

“The five albums have to come out,” Brooks shared a recent event in Nashville.

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Melinda Lorge

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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Posted on June 21, 2023

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Garth Brooks, Photo Courtesy of Andrew Wendowski, Chris Gaines, Photo Provided by Capitol Records

Back in 1999, Garth Brooks introduced the world to Chris Gaines, his Australian rock alter ego with long black hair and mysterious blue eyes. At the time the “Shameless” star was tapped to play the fictional alt-rock persona in a musically-themed film called, The Lamb. But that movie never materialized due to financial setbacks and management problems.

Garth Brooks In…the Life of Chris Gaines

Even though folks didn’t get to see Gaines on the big screen, – aside from a VH1 behind-the-music episode and a Saturday Night Live performance – they did get to hear him in song thanks to Brooks, who released an album called Garth Brooks in…the Life of Chris Gaines, featuring the troubled and sex-crazed character (per his VH1 backstory special) as the cover art. Hoping to create a buzz around Gaines’ persona, the album arrived one year before the film’s intended release date.

And while Brooks drew mystery with the Gaines’ character, the act of pursuing such a challenge shined a light on his ability to experiment with other genres outside of country music. And he was successful in doing just that.

In fact, the song “Lost in You,” which appears as the second cut on the 13-track Garth Brooks in…the Life of Chris Gaines album, reached No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and landed in the top 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. The album also achieved success peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and selling over two million copies worldwide.

Chris Gaines, Photo Provided by Capitol Records
Chris Gaines, Photo Provided by Capitol Records

Garth Brooks Confirmed Plan To Release New Music As Chris Gaines

Now, it appears fans will get to hear more from Gaines, as Brooks has confirmed plans to release more music under the fictitious personality two decades after launching the persona. 

In a Q&A interview at Billboard Country Live: In Conversation in Nashville, Tenn., earlier this month, the 61-year-old entertainer shared his passion for reviving his rock alter ego and spoke of the challenges that came along with creating the character back in the ‘90s.

“The Gaines project was a lot of time put in — because it’s not natural, you’re acting on a record — but I want to do it simply for people who love the Gaines project,” Brooks said at the event.

He continued, “And selfishly, I love the Chris Gaines record, so I want to do it for me. It challenged me as a vocalist. So I don’t know when we’re going to get to it, but it’s on the list.”

Garth Brooks; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Garth Brooks; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Brooks also noted that the initial Garth Brooks in…the Life of Chris Gaines release was designed as the greatest hits project with songs that originated on five (fictional) different unreleased projects by Gaines. 

Sharing his wishes to release the albums that have not yet seen the light of day, Brooks said, “The five albums have to come out. I don’t know if it’s because I’m 114 years old. But now everything takes three hours more than it took time to do before.”

Alter egos aside, Brooks is keeping busy. He is currently in the midst of his Garth Brooks/Plus ONE residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nev., which launched on May 18. He is also working on an upcoming duets’ album with superstar wife, Trisha Yearwood.   

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Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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