Country Artists With Alter Egos
A number of country music’s biggest stars have taken on new personas to flush out new creative opportunities, and not all of these alter egos were meant as jokes. Sure, one can’t imagine Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum pursuing a full-time career as Dick Fantastic, but several superstars did just that.
Garth Brooks isn’t the only one to create a split personality to record new material. This list country artists’ alter egos shows a few others who’ve recorded under fake names, as well as a couple who clearly just dressed as their alter ego for a laugh.
Luke the Drifter
While most alter egos were meant to be funny, Hank Williams‘ Luke the Drifter persona showed his spiritual side. Most of this music wasn’t released until after his death, but it featured songs or spoken-word tracks with religious or moral themes. These projects were quite a contrast — some say even an escape — from the rowdy, rebellious songs and ways of a man who died before age 30.
Taylor Swift played T-Swizzle for just one night, but it was fantastic. The star joined rapper T-Pain during an introduction to the 2009 CMT Music Awards. The rap showed her thug side — if you count living with your mom and baking cookies as “thug.” Sadly, T-Swizzle hasn’t been heard from since.
Earl Dibbles, Jr.
Granger Smith is finding more and more room to bring Earl Dibbles, Jr. on stage or onto his albums. The ‘Country Boy Love’ singer now has his own webpage, plus a fanbase that’s growing as fast — or faster — than Smith’s. “I wake up. Put a good dip in. Crack a cold one. Get dressed and start the day,” Dibbles’ official bio reads. That about sums it up.
Country Music Hall of Famer Ferlin Husky’s alter ego was hayseed comic Simon Crum. Crum became so successful that he signed his own record deal with Capitol Records and released several albums, including ‘Country Music Os Here to Stay,’ which reached No. 2. He’d flip between the two personalities during live shows.
Charles Kelley introduced Lady Antebellum fans to Dick Fantastic and the Fabulous Four Skins in August 2013. It remains to be seen how far he and Dave Haywood plan to take this Lady Antebellum side project. The flamboyant character is a funky, hilarious aside for a man who has one of the best senses of humor in country.
Brooks’ late ’90s reinvention as rocker Chris Gaines is the most well-known of country’s alter egos — it even has its own Wikipedia page. The story is that a movie was to be based on the life of Brooks’ fictional Gaines character, but after taking on the persona, fan response was so bad that the entire project was scrapped, except for the album, which ended up selling several million copies.