Racy, hilarious, and just plain weird, these country music artists are double-timing it with some wacky alter egos.
1. Garth Brooks as Chris Gaines
For some reason, perhaps because he had already done everything else, Garth Brooks decided to create this pop alter ego for himself in 1999. Gaines was supposed to have a movie to go along with his alter ego and did have a VH1 Behind the Music. Brooks threw himself whole-heartedly at the project; a wig, an Australian backstory, and one top 5 hit later, and Gaines is gone.
Hopefully, this time it’s for good.
2. Granger Smith as Earl Dibbles, Jr.
Granger Smith had wallowed in minor country music obscurity for years before pulling this brilliant move. Dibbles has his own music videos, website, TV shows, even a clothing line — full with the strange catch phrase Yee Yee. Smith has been known to perform both as himself and his alter ego at one show. I’m sure that’s plenty entertaining.
3. Hank Williams as Luke the Drifter
Luke the Drifter may be the only alter ego on this list with songs dedicated to him. Luke was the angel to Hank’s devil. He travelled around the country doing good deeds, and preaching the gospel while Williams boozed and fooled around with women. Luke was created to help Williams protect the marketability of his real, given name.
4. Taylor Swift as T-Swizzle
T-Swizzle has, so far, been a two night only alter ego for country music’s darling. Taylor Swift busted out this alter ego in 2009 CMT Music Awards with T-Pain, and was enticed to bring it back at the 2012 Grammy award show when LL Cool J rapped her song “Mean.”
5. Ferlin Husky as Simon Crum
Country Music Hall of Fame’s Ferlin Husky was an entertainer. He created the country bumpkin alter ego Simon Crum while he was entertaining the troops overseas during World War II. The character continued evolving when he returned home, and Crum even landed a No. 2 hit.
6. Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood as Dick Fantastic and the Fabulous Four Skins
In the most inappropriate alter ego on the list, the Lady Antebellum gentlemen created this alter ego band when they were bored while Lady A band mate Hillary Scott was nursing her child. Armed with fanny packs and head sashes, the Four Skins play mostly sexy 80s music.
7. Joni Mitchell as Art Nouveau
As a white female folksinger, Joni Mitchell had firmly entrenched herself in a genre and a conscious when she unleashed her alter ego on the world in 1976. Art Nouveau was a black male jazz musician who Mitchell appeared as for six years. She would dress like him for album covers, a concert film, even appearing in movies in blackface.
8. Statler Brothers as Lester “Roadhog” Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys
When the Statler Brothers released an album of then and now country songs, they created a comic radio broadcast with the characters Lester “Roadhog” Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys. The idea was so popular their label asked them to record an entire album as the alter ego. They did, purposely singing off key and playing poorly as a parody of themselves.
9. Sheb Wooley as Ben Colder
Sheb Wooley was no stranger to playing roles. Besides being a singer, you can thank him for “Purple People Eater,” he acted in the film High Noon and the TV show Rawhide. He began to make appearance on Hee Haw as a drunken songwriter named Ben Colder. He eventually released a parody song as the alter ego, and the song was such a hit Wooley continued appearing and recording music as his alter ego into the 90s.
10. Dierks Bentley as Douglas Douglason & Hot Country Knights
In the newest alter ego to appear, Dierks and his band take the game to a whole new level. The group sport attire and hairdos reminiscent of bad 80s country and have created backstories for all their characters. One of which has Big Rhythm Doug being a minor soft-core porn star. On their Facebook page, their Russian bassist even posts in his “native” language. You can expect a full album release from Big Rhythm Doug soon.