A Look At Chris Gaines' Ridiculous Backstory

In 1999, country music legend Garth Brooks was on top of the world. He was already well on his way to taking the number two spot on the Recording Industry Association of America list of most certified units sold, just after The Beatles. (That's actually true. We checked. He has sold 157 million units, more than Elvis, the Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, and, well, everyone except the Fab Four. Wow. Just... Wow.)

When you get to the point where anything you record will sell like QAnon t-shirts at the latest insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, you start to test out just how far you can take things. That's exactly what Garth Brooks did at the end of the 20th century when he tossed his Stetson in the back of his pickup truck, replaced it with a black wig, grew a matching soul button (again, all this is actually true), and released a greatest hits album as an emo rocker named Chris Gaines. It didn't matter that Gaines had never had any hits to compile. Garth had so much clout that he could just make up an entire utterly ridiculous backstory to answer the question on everybody's minds: Wait, what? Oh. But, why? Let's take a look back at the very short and very calamitous life and times of rock star Chris Gaines.

The movie about Chris Gaines' backstory was unfortunately never made

The idea was to make a movie called The Lamb (so emo) that told Gaines' tragic life story and how he went from not existing at all to having a full-on greatest hits album. Unfortunately, the movie was never made, but we were able to get a glimpse into the life that was never lived via a weird mockumentary-style episode of VH1's Behind the Music.

According to The Boot, Brooks went into some crazy detail when he thought up Gaines' backstory. His mother was an Olympic swimmer. His dad didn't approve of his need to rock. He dropped out of high school and formed a band named Crush with his best bud Tommy Levitz. But Crush came to a tragic end after Tommy died in a plane crash, and Gaines recorded a solo album to deal with the pain. It was a hit, obviously. But he was bamboozled by his manager, and then his dad died of cancer. Then he got in a car crash that left him disfigured. And to top it all off, his house burned down in a wildfire. To deal with his life of endless tragedy, Gaines became a sex addict.

The true part? It's true that Garth Brooks actually made all of this up. Gaines' Greatest Hits went on to only sell a measly two million units and be certified only 2x Multi-Platinum, which for Garth Brooks was an abject failure. Another tragedy in the sad, sad life of Chris Gaines.