Childish Gambino's cover of Chris Gaines' "Lost in You" is equal parts ironic and amazing. The hip-hop star's take on Garth Brooks' late '90s alter-ego is right on time, something few said about the original.

Writer, musician and comedian Donald Glover's hip-hop stage name is Childish Gambino — you could even say that's his alter-ego, but not nearly to the extremes that Brooks took Gaines in 1999. Gaines came with a full backstory. We were to believe he was already an international superstar when he dropped his debut single to radio. That proved to be too much, too soon, even if the song was decent.

Fans just couldn't take the transition from cowboy hat to mascara in stride, so Brooks' experiment was scrapped before a movie based on Gaines was filmed.

This new version of the song is free of the confusing plot points and arranged with just a keyboard and mix of soulful backup singers. Childish Gambino recorded the song at a public radio station in Australia (Gaines was born in Australia). It's part of Triple J's Like a Version video series on YouTube. It's vulnerable and effective, even if the singer is also bringing it to audiences through something of a false persona. That matters none here.

"Lost in You" was by all definitions a hit for Gaines, peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album that followed was a hit by modern standards, having sold more than two million copies. However that was a disappointment for Brooks, who regularly sold more than 10 million copies of albums.

Enjoy this new cover and then enjoy Part 1 and Part 2 of our Secret History of Chris Gaines series. Sept. 28, 1999 will mark 20 years since the release of Garth Brooks in ... The Life of Chris Gaines, and tributes are being planned by fans.


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