On Wednesday evening, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow proved her vocal chops by pulling off her first live singing performance at the 44th annual CMA Awards. Although her singing skills had remained largely under wraps until the awards show, Paltrow scored rave reviews from critics and country superstars alike for her rendition of "Country Strong," which is also the title of her upcoming flick.

It turns out that Paltrow had some superstar assistance for her CMA debut. Before she hit the stage, she opened up to "Access Hollywood" about reaching out to her celebrity pals while prepping for her performance.

"I kind of asked my girl singer friends [for advice]," she said. "I asked Faith [Hill] a lot of questions ... and Beyoncé actually too."

Gwyneth added that she took some cues from B's fierce stage presence. "I studied Beyoncé a lot and her concerts for her kind of confidence," she said, adding, "And I'm lucky that I know some singers in real life."

The superstar study sessions paid off, as Paltrow won over music experts and country stars with her bold, clear vocals and ease with the guitar.

"Strumming an acoustic guitar, looking a little nervous but singing the movie's title song in an expressive, surging tone, she didn't really need the assistance of the wonderful Vince Gill, there to give a polite country-industry imprimatur to Paltrow's efforts," Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker wrote.

"She sounded really country, I think. She seems very genuine," CMA winner Miranda Lambert told USA Today.

What did you think of Gwyneth Paltrow's CMA performance? Let us know in the comments!

Check out everything we've got on "Country Strong."

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