Trent Reznor Receives His First CMA Award Thanks To A Production Credit On ‘Old Town Road’

The Hit Song Used A Banjo Sample From Nine Inch Nails' ‘34 Ghosts IV’

November 15, 2019

Jamie McCarthy / Staff

When most people think of Trent Reznor, country music is probably the furthest thing from their mind. However the Nine Inch Nails leader received his first ever CMA award this week, thanks to the record breaking hit ‘Old Town Road.’ Thanks to a short clip used in the song, Reznor will now forever have a place in country music lore.

Just about everyone in the world knows about the Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus hit, ‘Old Town Road,’ so when the CMA Awards occurred this week, it was almost a guarantee the hit song would be honored. However, when the song took home the award for Musical Event of the Year In Wednesday, it was another artist who was receiving the glory. Trent Reznor earned his first CMA award thanks to a production credit on the song, an honor he shares with his frequent collaborator Atticus Ross and YoungKio.

A short clip of a banjo was used on ‘Old Town Road’ that first appeared on Nine Inch Nails' ‘34 Ghosts IV.’ YoungKio took the section, added a mordant beat, and sold it online for $30, and Lil Nas X happened to purchase it. “At first, when you hear your stuff turned into something else, it always feels awkward because it’s something that intimately came from you in some way,” Reznor said of his credit on the song. Now, Reznor will forever be remembered in country music, and it’s all thanks to a short banjo clip in ‘Old Town Road.’

Via Rolling Stone