The self-titled adult-contemporary album is set to drop May 10

By Tim Stack
Updated March 25, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow have already proved they have great onscreen chemistry as lovestruck teachers Will Schuester and Holly Holliday on Glee. (The actress pops up again on the April 19 episode.) Now they’re hoping that energy translates to the recording studio. EW has learned exclusively that Morrison and the Country Strong star will duet on his self-titled adult-contemporary album, set to drop May 10. Morrison asked Paltrow to guest during her work on Glee, but admits it was slightly awkward. ”The hardest part of doing this album was asking these people favors, like Elton [John] and her,” says the actor. ”I’m so not that guy.” Luckily, choosing the song for their collaboration was much easier. The duo will be covering a tune very familiar to Morrison and his Glee fans: the classic ”Over the Rainbow.” The actor auditioned for Glee with the song and performed it on the series’ season 1 finale. ”People kind of know me for that song now,” says Morrison. ”I wanted to do a duet with a female. I thought that was a good song to do, and we really did a different arrangement of it. It’s a lot of strings, and it’s beautiful.”

They hit the recording studio in late January. ”She’s so funny about singing — she gets so nervous,” says Morrison. ”Especially with all these awards shows she’s been doing, I was like, ‘Why are you doing this to yourself?’ She didn’t know the version of the song going into it. I went in and played it for her on the ukulele, of course. My favorite part of it is, we did the beginning that no one really does anymore: [Sings] ‘When all the world is a hopeless jumble/And the raindrops…”’ Now that Paltrow is reportedly in talks for a nearly $1 million record deal of her own, is there any chance of Morrison repaying the favor? Says the actor, ”I hope so. That’d be really cool. That’d be really, really cool.”