Who Would Have Thought: Lil Nas X, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross Are CMA Winners

Tanima Mehrotra
Lil Nas X

Several other artists not usually identified with country, namely Robert Plant, Kelly Clarkson and Elle King, have won CMA Awards in this category over the years.

The CMA Awards revealed the winners in two categories via ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday (Nov. 13), hours ahead of the 53rd annual CMA Awards, with Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road (Remix)" (featuring Billy Ray Cyrus) taking musical event of the year and Kacey Musgraves' "Rainbow" taking music video of the year.  

The win for "Old Town Road (Remix)" was hardly surprising, given the single's record-breaking run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it is remarkable. Lil Nas X is the first hip-hop artist to win in that category. Moreover, since that award is presented to both artist and producer, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails are now CMA Awards winners.

Reznor and Ross have both a co-writing and co-production credit on "Old Town Road (Remix)" because the smash samples the Nine Inch Nails track "34 Ghosts IV" from their sixth studio album Ghosts I–IV (2008).

Reznor and Ross previously won an Oscar for best original score for The Social Network (2010) and a Grammy for best score soundtrack for visual media for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2012).

Several other artists not usually identified with country have won CMA Awards in this category over the years. Robert Plant won for "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)" (2008), a collab with Alison Krauss. Kelly Clarkson won for "Don’t You Wanna Stay" (2011), a collab with Jason Aldean. Elle King won for "Different for Girls" (2016), a collab with Dierks Bentley.

This is Cyrus' second CMA win. His "Achy Breaky Heart" won the 1992 award for single of the year.

"Old Town Road (Remix)" beat heavy competition to win musical event of the year. The other nominees were Brooks & Dunn's remake of their breakthrough 1991 smash "Brand New Man" (with Luke Combs), Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton's "Dive Bar," Maren Morris' "All My Favorite People" (featuring Brothers Osborne) and Brantley Gilbert and Linsday Ell's "What Happens in a Small Town," which is currently No. 1 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart.

The award for music video of the year went to both Musgraves and Hannah Lux Davis, who directed the video. Davis is just the second female director to win in that category. Trey Fanjoy was the first. She directed back-to-back winners: Taylor Swift's "Love Story" (2009) and Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me" (2010).

The other nominees for music video of the year were Bentley's "Burning Man" (featuring Brothers Osborne), Morris' "Girl," Shelton's "God's Country" and Eric Church's "Some Of It."

This is Musgraves' fourth CMA win.

Maddie & Tae made the announcements in these two categories.

The 2019 CMA Awards air Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.


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