In 1999, Garth Brooks, the largest superstar country music has ever seen, did a little crazy experiment that left his fans scratching their collective cowboy hats. Here's what happened:
In 1999, Brooks was involved in the development of The Lamb, a movie in which he would star as a brooding alt-rock star struggling to live a private life in the public eye. To promote the album and better explore the rock elements of his music, Brooks began recording an album as the film’s character Chris Gaines. The album, Garth Brooks in… The Life of Chris Gaines, would ultimately serve as the film’s official soundtrack. As the album’s release date drew closer, Gaines began making public appearances and performing on talk shows as well as Saturday Night Live (during an episode in which Brooks himself hosted). How could this possibly go wrong?
The album was released prior to the movie even being filmed. Sadly, the reception wasn’t quite what had been hoped for: music critics gave it a pass while Garth Brooks fans had no idea what to make of it, believing that buying the album would promote Brooks to adopt the character permanently and forever kill America’s favorite cowboy. Poor sales and the bewildering ignorance of his own fans canceled the movie all together and Gaines never again saw the light of day.
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