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Chris Gaines

Chris Gaines is a fictional rock singer, created as an alter ego by Garth Brooks. The only actual album released under the "Chris Gaines" name was "Chris Gaines: Greatest Hits", released in October of 1999. The album can best be described as a collection of Brooks's experiments in other popular music genres, such as alternative and Rhythm and Blues.

As the story goes, Gaines was born in 1967 in Australia to a pair of Olympic swimmers. He dropped out of high school to form a band called "Crush", which released a popular song called "My Love Tells Me So", being inspired by, not surprisingly, the work of Garth Brooks. After a band member died in a plane crash, Gaines was dormant for several years before releasing a solo album, "Straight Jacket", which remained in the Billboard Top 40 for 82 weeks and wins four Grammys. Gaines then was involved in a serious car accident and required numerous plastic surgeries over the next two years, before releasing two more solo albums and being declared "The New Prince".

A "documentary", "Garth Brooks...In The Life of Chris Gaines" was also released in 1999. That same year, Brooks appeared once as guest host on Saturday Night Live with Gaines as special musical guest.

The success of the "Chris Gaines" experiment was decidedly doubtful mere weeks after "Greatest Hits" was released. Some critics admired Brooks for demonstrating his range as a musician and actor, but most of the American public was at best amused by and at worst completely unreceptive to the idea of Garth Brooks as anything but a pop-country singer. Sales of "Greatest Hits" were unspectacular, and Chris Gaines quickly faded away into obscurity.