Fans are used to checking out Gwyneth Paltrow as a red-carpet regular, Oscar-winning screen vet, Jay-Z and Beyoncé pal and aficionado. But down-home, country crooner? Not so much.
With her turn as a Nashville great overcoming drug addiction opposite Tim McGraw in "Country Strong," which slated to hit theaters next year, Paltrow is using the upcoming months to prove she's got serious vocal chops. So Wednesday night (November 10) the "Iron Man" actress chose one of the biggest nights in Country music, the CMA Awards, to demonstrate her mic skills.
Joined by country veteran Vince Gill, Paltrow made her live singing debut with the track "Country Strong," from the movie's soundtrack. With her wavy blonde locks and a dark clingy minidress, Paltrow looked ready to rock another red carpet appearance. But she boldly hit the song's high notes with a steady, even voice like a country pro. Paltrow became visibly more comfortable as she knocked down the second verse, belting, "I may lose, but I'll always keep my faith, 'cause I'm country strong!" With images of clouds moving through the monitors and Gill looking on with a smile, Paltrow received a standing ovation.
In May, Paltrow, who also contributes a few songs to the movie's soundtrack — including a number penned by her rock-star husband, Chris Martin of Coldplay — sounded off about her "Country Strong" role to MTV News, describing the effort as a difficult task that she said she thought worked.
"I played a country music singer. It's all new original work. It was incredible," Paltrow said of the flick, which also stars fellow singer/actress Leighton Meester. "I had to learn how to play guitar, and I took singing lessons. It was a real challenge, but I felt like I pretty much pulled it off."
The CMAs won't be the last time Paltrow shows off her pipes on network television. The star is slated to bust out a PG version of Cee Lo Green's raunchy, retro-tinged smash "F--- You" on Fox's musical juggernaut "Glee" on Tuesday. The show's creator gushed about Paltrow's vocal prowess to the BBC in September.
"Gwyneth is a great singer," Ryan Murphy said. "She's done it a little bit, but I really want to show it off and show everyone how great she is."
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