Trent Reznor

One of the most respected musical artists of his generation, Trent Reznor was born Michael Trent Reznor on May 17, 1965 in New Castle, Pennsylvania. He gravitated toward music as a boy, learning the piano and playing in the school marching band. He abandoned his college studies to focus on a music career, landing an entry level job at a studio in Cleveland, Ohio where he was allowed to make his first recordings. He released his first album, Pretty Hate Machine under the band name Nine Inch Nails, though he had no bandmates. The album and Reznor quickly became alt-rock stars thanks to the album’s aggressive, industrial sound. The follow-up, The Downward Spiral reached number 2 on the album chart, and the single “Closer” climbed to number 41 on the pop chart. He contributed a song to the soundtrack for David Lynch’s Lost Highway in 1997, and in 1999 issued the double album The Fragile, his first album to hit number 1 and an attempt to move away from the industrial sound he had perfected by including electronic music to the mix. With Teeth, another number 1, followed in 2005. Along with sometimes Nine Inch Nails collaborator Atticus Ross, Reznor scored the David Fincher film The Social Network, and won the Oscar for that work in 2011. The duo would continue to compose scores for Fincher and other directors, amassing an impressive filmography over the next decade that included 2014’s Gone Girl, 2018’s Bird Box, 2020’s Mank, and the 2020 Pixar film Soul. He continued working on Nine Inch Nails projects during this time, notably a pair of 2020 releases that were made available for free digitally as a gift for fans during the COVID-19 pandemic. That same year he and Ross won an Emmy for their score of the HBO series Watchmen.

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