“I’m sort of pissed at her though,” he grouses good-naturedly. “I’ve been, what, 20 years I’ve been in the music business and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a standing ovation at the CMA’s. After all the hard work I’ve done. After all the time and effort. And then she walks out and sings one song and everybody stands up.”
He notes that he had seen her sing in “Duets” with Huey Lewis, so he wasn’t entirely surprised she could carry a tune. Delivering a country song, however, is tougher in his eyes.
“Country music to me is a whole different deal,” he says. “I’m biased because that’s what I do. You can’t get away singing country music unless there’s a lot of honesty involved. It just doesn’t work. It worked for her.”
DeGeneres chimes in, “Well, like you said. It’s hard. She’s an actress and they didn’t think that was possible.”
“Well, it’s not hard anymore!” he replies.
“Country Strong” stars Paltrow as a Kelly, a fallen country star who wants to revive her career by teaming up with a rising songwriter (Garrett Hedlund). Things get complicated though with her husband/manager James (McGraw) and a beauty queen-turned-singer (Leighton Meester).
“Country Strong” opens in limited release on Dec. 22, adding screens for a wider release on Jan. 7.