In your WTF news for today, Trent Reznor can now add "Country Music Association Award" to his list of accolades. Though the CMA Awards don't air until Wednesday evening (November 13), some winners were announced this afternoon and the Nine Inch Nails frontman's name was called for his involvement in Lil Nas X's monster hit "Old Town Road." The chart-topping single won the award for Musical Event of the Year, beating out the likes of Blake Shelton, Maren Morris, and Garth Brooks.
You're probably confused how Reznor plays into all of this, and that is a valid question. The song actually samples NIN's instrumental track "34 Ghosts IV" — something the country rapper didn't clear ahead of time. Thankfully Reznor was cool about it and didn't stop the song from coming out; in exchange, he's credited as a songwriter. During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, he opened up about his connection to the track.
“The way it was presented to me originally is I got a call from my management saying, ‘We got a call from a panicked manager saying they had used the sample of something off Ghosts,'” he explained. “‘They should have cleared it, but it didn’t get cleared. It’s picking up some steam on the viral Spotify charts. What do you think about that?’ And 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.’ I hadn’t heard it yet. Then a few weeks later, I was like, ‘Holy s**t.'”
He was also offered a cameo in the "Old Town Road" video, which he politely declined. “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I don’t feel like it’s my place to shine a light on me for that,” he said. “I say that with complete respect.”
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