Tomorrow (Sept. 28) marks the 20th anniversary of when Garth Brooks In... The Life of Chris Gaines (also known as Greatest Hits) found one of the most fiscally successful country music artists of all time moonlighting as an Australian rock star.
To have a little fun at the expense of Brooks' short-lived new persona and ride the wave of '90s nostalgia that's prominent among younger stars, Radio.com interviewed a who's-who of artists to find out what they remember about one of Saturday Night Live's least likely musical guests and the subject of a surreal send-up of VH1's Behind the Music.
Younger country superstars were stumped, with Riley Green confusing Brooks' alter-ego with television star Chip Gaines. Others described him in 21st century terms, with Kelsea Ballerini calling him "the emo one," Luke Combs likening his hair to members of Panic! At The Disco, Tyler Rich tossing in Post Malone comparisons and the guys in LoCash pretending to not know Gaines apart from Brett Young. All are much different jokes than the "Goth Brooks" quips still tossed around by 40-somethings.
Slightly older stars shared fond high school memories of Gaines' lone studio album, the crossover pop hit "Lost in You" and rumors of a feature-length film called The Lamb. Lee Brice and the members of Lady Antebellum were among the interviewees admitting to loving Brooks' falsetto singing yet finding his new look and contrived backstory slightly confusing.
Dierks Bentley went way further with his praise of the Don Was-produced "debut album" by Gaines.
"Chris Gaines' album is one of the best albums Nashville ever made," Bentley said.
Toward the end of the video, Luke Bryan has a little fun at the expense of Brooks' bizarre follow-up to Double Live by teasing a Gaines comeback. Brooks even appears after Bryan's joke, shooting down comeback rumors while observing that Gaines is now 53-years-old and living off his limited Billboard chart success.