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Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Country Strong” is Maybe Kind Of Good

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s voice and stage presence have come a long way since Duets in 2000. Sure, it was a movie about karaoke, but her creepy, um, duet with her film-father Huey Lewis was a little bit hard to watch and not just because they were singing about one night stands. Last night, Paltrow redeemed herself with a performance at the Country Music Awards, doing the lead single “Country Strong” from the forthcoming movie of the same name. It doesn’t actually sound as bad as it sounds!

Yes, it’s true, Paltrow was born into the business, raised in Southern California and educated at a New York City prep school, but Taylor Swift grew up in Pennsylvania, so what are you gonna do?

The look of sheer terror on Paltrow’s face for the first verse, though, is excruciating. Every time she took a breath, it was as if she might vomit. Then she smiled. The grimaces for the rest of the performance were more of the I’m feeling this song so hard variety. With the help of country star Vince Gill, she pulled it off. And she even almost hit the high note.

Country Strong is out December 22 and Paltrow’s turn in Duets is below.

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