Avril Lavigne and Nate Smith Premiere 'Bulletproof' at 2024 ACM Awards

Social media buzz precedes Nate Smith's ACM debut.

by Nouman Rasool
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Avril Lavigne and Nate Smith Premiere 'Bulletproof' at 2024 ACM Awards
© Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The 2024 Academy of Country Music Awards put the spotlight on new talent and showcased a sensational cross-genre collaboration when pop-punk superstar Avril Lavigne joined newly crowned Male Artist of the Year, Nate Smith, for a performance of their new duet, "Bulletproof." The live performance was one of the high points during the awards show, which was held May 16 at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

Kicking off the night was Nate Smith, who claimed the award for New Male Artist of the Year. It was a strong way to start the night. Smith then sang "Bulletproof," the single from his "Through the Smoke EP," now just-released in new form as a duet with Lavigne.

The performance began with Smith taking the stage solo, immersed in a bar-like setting aglow with neon lights. Lavigne joined shortly after, taking on the second verse independently before the duo united for a dynamic remainder of the song.

The palpable chemistry between them led to a warm embrace that obviously pleased the audience. Both musicians had gone for kind of rock looks for the night: Lavigne in a shredded black sweatshirt with like-colored flare jeans and Smith in an all-black outfit that was cleaner but brought together with a leather jacket.

This kind of visual cohesion layered the performance with an additional aesthetic.

Strategic Release Buzz

The collaboration had been teased by Smith days prior on social media. He shared a snippet of their conversation, displaying palpable excitement about their joint performance.

The strategic release of "Bulletproof" on the day of the ACM Awards was a masterstroke, amplifying the buzz surrounding their live act. Smith's Instagram post further celebrated the release, describing the opportunity to work with Lavigne as a collaboration with an icon.

Other than their performances, the event was filled with other highlights. The stage was shared by Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, Kelsea Ballerini and Noah Kahan, and many more country stars. The event also featured a special tribute to the late Toby Keith performed by Jason Aldean, a fitting memory for the whole industry as Keith was a legend among the dead.

Looking ahead, Lavigne is poised to embark on her Greatest Hits tour, aligning with her upcoming album release. Meanwhile, Smith will hit the road for his "Through the Smoke" tour this fall, joined by artists John Morgan and Karley Scott Collins.

These tours not only promote their latest projects but also promise to bring their music directly to fans across the nation.

Avril Lavigne
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