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Gwyneth Paltrow Proves She’s ‘Country Strong’

Frederick Breedon, FilmMagic

In what was arguably the most talked-about and widely scrutinized live-performance debut of a country singer ever, Gwyneth Paltrow proved her country chops at the 44th annual CMA Awards. The Oscar-winning actress belted the title track to her new movie, ‘Country Strong,’ in what was an impressive performance for a sold-out arena full of music industry insiders and fans, plus a TV viewing audience of millions.

Strumming a Gibson acoustic guitar, as Vince Gill joined on rhythm guitar and harmony, the blond beauty battled obvious nerves (and some discernible technical issues with audio equipment). Still, she triumphed, gaining better vocal ground — and managing to appear a lot more confident — by mid-song.

Does Gwyneth have a future in country music? Time will tell. But for now, she’s got the brutal audition process out of the way and passed with flying colors.

Watch Gwyneth Perform ‘Country Strong’

In the movie, ‘Country Strong,’ Gwyneth plays the role of Kelly Canter, a living legend in the music biz who is sidelined by alcoholism. Tim McGraw plays her manager/husband who pulls her out of rehab in an attempt to resurrect her career with a comeback tour. Leighton Meester and Garrett Hedlund play opening acts on the tour — both budding singers who look up to Kelly.

Ironically, Tim is the only main cast member who doesn’t sing in the movie. He does, however, have a duet with his on-screen leading lady on the soundtrack, which also features a song by his off-screen wife, Faith Hill, along with tracks by Trace Adkins, Ronnie Dunn, Sara Evans, Patty Loveless, Hank Williams, Jr., Lee Ann Womack and Chris Young. Tim served as executive producer of the CD, which also features four songs recorded by Gwyneth, one by Leighton and one by Garrett. See the full track listing here.

‘Country Strong’ hits theaters in limited release on December 22 and nationwide in January. Watch a preview of the movie here.

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