Gwyneth Paltrow may have caught many fans by surprise when she took to the stage to perform her single, 'Country Strong,' at the CMA Awards this past November, but it was not her first time to sing in front of people.

The Oscar-winning actress has performed on screen before -- in the 2000 movie 'Duets,' which garnered a hit single with Huey Lewis on their remake of 'Cruisin',' and most recently on the hit TV series 'Glee.' However, in 'Country Strong,' she kicks it into high gear with her role as Kelly Canter, a fallen country superstar who tries hard to shake off her past and resurrect her career, stumbling every step of the way.

Gwyneth's interest in music came early on when she attended high school in New York and was in an a cappella group called Triple Trio. "I would arrange the harmonies and stuff like that, and that's always been my favorite thing to do," the 'Shakespeare in Love' star tells The Boot. "I would love to [sing harmony] more than anything."

In preparing for her role as a country star, she fell in love with the format. "The country music, it was very scary, but so exhilarating! It was just so much fun. I really felt like a kid in a candy store, like 'Are they really gonna let me do this? This is crazy.' It was petrifying, but it was just great ... some nights I was just playing my guitar, singing along to myself, and I never thought in a million years that at 37 years old I would learn how to play guitar and be singing country music. It was just really, really, really a gift. It was really fun, but scary."

Could a music career be in the cards for Gwyneth? "That's one good thing about the music ... putting the kids to bed and just being able to play guitar and sing," she says. "To me, it doesn't matter if anyone's listening. That's a creative outlet and process for me, and that's been a really nice thing for me. I know that singing and the guitar are really a part of my life now, and I play and sing every day, but I may just continue do it on the floor with my kids."

On the film's soundtrack, Gwyneth also performs a handful of other songs, including 'Shake That Thing,' 'Coming Home' and the duet, 'Me and Tennessee,' with her co-star, Tim McGraw. 'Country Strong' opens in theaters nationwide on January 7.