The Real Reason Nine Inch Nails Are Being Inducted Into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

Nine Inch Nails and a handful of other rock bands we grew up with are being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on November 7, 2020, in a special ceremony that will be broadcast on HBO. The band, who's led by the great Trent Reznor, has had their name in the running for the Hall of Fame two other times since becoming eligible in 2014 but didn't quite make the cut for some reason. Even this time around, the original announcement, according to, included only Reznor as the sole inductee.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can get a bit iffy about which members of which bands they allow to grace their golden ranks, and Nine Inch Nails has seen quite a few different members come and go in both the touring band and the studio band. So, maybe they were having trouble sorting through the stacks of names or something. In the end, seven total members of the band are being inducted: Atticus Ross, Robin Finck, Chris Vrenna, Danny Lohner, Ilan Rubin, Alessandro Cortini, and Trent Reznor. Here's why they deserve to be there.

Nine Inch Nails has been extremely successful

The industrial rock band started with Trent Reznor, who in all actuality was Nine Inch Nails. Everyone else who later played under the name was an addition. Just think of NIN as "Trent 'Nine Inch Nails' Reznor and the Nailers." Since the band began, they've had what professional music analysts refer to as "a buttload of success." They were one of the most popular rock bands of the '90s and have continued their success through today.

The band has made millions off their records and live performances. The release of NIN's collection Ghosts I-IV in 2008 brought in $1.6 million ... in the first week of sales, according to Wired. In total, the band has been nominated for a solid 10 Grammy Awards and has won two, with "Wish" winning Best Metal Performance in 1992 and "Happiness in Slavery" winning the same category in 1995. On top of that, Reznor won an Oscar for Best Original Score for The Social Network in 2011.

Awards, record sales, money, and fan-count only mean so much when it comes to fame and success. The real measurement for "making it" in the world of rock and roll is when the legendary Johnny Cash covers one of your songs, and Cash covered NIN's "Hurt" in 2002. Though, Reznor told The Sun, "Hearing it was like someone kissing your girlfriend."

Nine Inch Nails is credited with bringing industrial rock to the mainstream

Nine Inch Nails is probably the most famous industrial rock band, and by all rights, they should be. They're credited with bringing the genre to popularity within the headbanging mass of mainstream metal listeners. There's an entire biographical documentary about it called Nine Inch Nails and the Industrial Uprising. Now, industrial rock dates back to the '70s, according to Udiscovermusic, but the genre didn't become popular on the metal scene until the "Industrial Revolution" of metal began in 1987 — thanks to bands like Ministry, who actually inspired some of NIN's work.

Then, Nine Inch Nails hit the scene with their 1989 release of Pretty Hate Machine, and their unique sound made them a name known to the general population. That sound has been praised by novices and music legends alike.

"Trent's music," David Bowie once said about the band, "built as it is on the history of industrial and mechanical sound experiments, contains a beauty that attracts and repels in equal measure: Nietzsche's 'God is dead' to a nightclubbing beat. And always lifted, at the most needy moment, by a tantalizing melody."

Nine Inch Nails has been influential to say the least

You hear all the time how certain bands are influential to music-specific subcultures. The Insane Clown Posse has created their own counter culture called the Juggalos, My Chemical Romance is branded on the frontal lobes of every emo kid from the 2000s, Black Sabbath influenced just about everything in heavy metal culture. But few have been called out by mainstream magazines as a driving influential force.

In 1997, Time magazine listed Trent Reznor as one of the 25 Most Influential Americans, saying: "Reznor's music is filthy, brutish stuff, oozing with aberrant sex, suicidal melancholy and violent misanthropy. But to the depressed, his music, veering away from the heartless core of Industrial, proffers pop's perpetual message of hope — or therapeutic Schadenfreude: there is worse pain in the world than yours. It is a lesson as old as Robert Johnson's blues."

It's hard to tell if Time was trying to take a backhanded shot at Reznor and Nine Inch Nails, but seeing as Reznor made the list, they obviously saw the power with which Reznor influenced a generation.