Noted country musician Trent Reznor has won his first (probably last?) Country Music Association award after Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ ‘Old Town Road (Remix)’, which credits Reznor and Nine Inch Nails bandmate Atticus Ross along with producer YoungKio, took home the 2019 Musical Event of the Year on Thursday (14th November).
The insanely popular ‘Old Town Road’ – arguably one of the year’s most prominent cultural moments – samples NIN’s ’34 Ghosts IV’, from the band’s instrumental Ghosts I-IV anthology. The Lil Nas X hit beat out the likes of Maren Morris, Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton to win the CMA category this year.
While the use of the NIN sample was initially unauthorised, Reznor later cleared its usage after the track gained popularity, and he and Ross were officially credited as songwriters and producers.
Last month, Reznor spoke to Rolling Stone about the sample, saying “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.”
“I said, ‘Look, I’m fine with it. I get how stuff goes. They’re not saying they didn’t sample it. Just work it out, but don’t be a roadblock to this.”
Reznor explained the reason he hadn’t commented previously was because he didn’t feel like it was his place “to shine a light on it.”
“But the world is full of weird things that happen like that. It’s flattering. But I don’t feel it’s for me to step in there and pat myself on the back for that.”
Other winners at this year’s CMA Awards included Garth Brooks, who took home Entertainer of the Year, and Kacey Musgraves, who won the Female Vocalist of the Year category.
Watch the video for ‘Old Town Road (Remix’) and listen to ’34 Ghosts IV’ below.