Nate Smith Texts Avril Lavigne With A 'Crazy Idea' — See The Conversation

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Nate Smith suggested a “crazy idea” when he shared a text exchange with pop-punk powerhouse Avril Lavigne on Instagram on Tuesday evening (May 14). 

The reigning ACM New Male Artist of the Year is set to team up with Lavigne on stage at the 59th ACM Awards on Thursday evening (May 16). The duo will deliver a collaborative performance of “Bulletproof,” an anthem that Smith included on his 7-track EP, Through the Smoke, last month. “Bulletproof” arrived before the EP’s debut. Smith said at that time that he’s “tried to outrun the pain of a heartbreak in so many different ways. And I feel like the only thing that can really get you through it is time. And just doing that self-care, that self-healing, and stuff so. That’s kinda what the song is about. Trying everything you can to outrun the pain of a heartbreak, but you can’t do it.”

Now, Smith is releasing a new version of “Bulletproof” featuring Lavigne. The duet will drop on Thursday at midnight, ahead of the duo's performance it at the ACM Awards. Smith included a snippet of the new version of “Bulletproof” following the text messages with Lavigne he shared on Tuesday. The duet announcement arrives months after the two were spotted having dinner together and riding around in the back of a truck in L.A.

The 59th ACM Awards will mark the latest time Lavigne has crossed genre boundaries into country music. She honored Shania Twain, for example, during the 15th annual ACM Honors in 2022, taking the stage with a rendition of Twain’s “No One Needs To Know” on the historic Ryman Auditorium stage in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Lavigne first met Twain when she was 14 years old. She’d won a contest through her local radio station and had the opportunity to join Twain on stage and sing together in front of a crowd of about 20,000 people. Lavigne also joined country megastar Miranda Lambert on stage at CMA Fest last year as a surprise guest.

Smith and Lavigne will be one of several pairings on the ACM Awards stage. Other performers throughout the evening include Post MaloneParker McCollumKelsea Ballerini and Noah KahanBlake Shelton and Gwen StefaniJason Aldean (who will deliver a tribute to late country star Toby Keith), Kane BrownJelly RollCody JohnsonMiranda LambertThomas RhettChris Stapleton and Lainey Wilson. On Tuesday night (May 14), Smith, Megan Moroney and sister duo Tigirlily Gold were revealed as early winners of the upcoming show. They received the New Male Artist of the Year, New Female Artist of the Year and New Duo or Group of the Year awards, respectively. Tigirlily Gold will make their debut on the ACM Awards stage. Reba McEntire, returning to host the show for her 17th time, will perform her new single, “I Can’t.” See the full list of 59th ACM Award nominees here.

The show is set to return to Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, the world headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys, leading up to the milestone 60th year in 2025. This year’s ACM Red Carpet will kick off at 7 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. CDT/4 p.m. PDT. The show is set for Thursday, May 16 at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT.

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