Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross received a CMA Awards nomination Wednesday (Aug. 28) for musical event of the year, thanks to their producer credit on Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” (featuring Billy Ray Cyrus). “Old Town Road” features a sample of Nine Inch Nails‘ 2008 track “34 Ghosts IV,” so Reznor and Ross received songwriting and production credits on the Lil Nas X juggernaut.
Reznor and Ross have already shared an award they probably never imagined getting—an Oscar for their original score to 2010’s The Social Network. Reznor has won three Grammys, two for best metal performance for NIN tracks and one for best score soundtrack for visual media for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which he composed with Ross.
Why are so many songwriters, producers and video directors usually associated with pop now working with country artists? The walls are coming down. Everybody listens to everything. More and more people—pros in the industry and fans alike—would say “Great music is great music, wherever it comes from.”
Despite the increased focus on crossover, Calmatic, the director of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” (featuring Cyrus), was passed over for a CMA nom for music video of the year. Calmatic won the VMA for best direction, in a mini upset win over Drew Kirsch and Taylor Swift, the co-directors of “You Need to Calm Down,” the video of the year winner.
See below for four other people from the pop world who probably never expected to receive a CMA nom. Nonetheless, they got their first CMA noms Wednesday.
Greg Kurstin. Kurstin received three CMA noms, all for work with Maren Morris. He’s nominated for single of the year for his work as producer and mix engineer of “GIRL”; song of the year for co-writing the song with Morris and Sarah Aarons; and album of the year for co-producing the album of the same name with Morris and busbee. Kurstin has won seven Grammys—three for work with Adele, two for work with Beck and two for producer of the year, non-classical. He has also been Grammy-nominated for his work with Kelly Clarkson, Sia and The Bird and the Bee.
Dave Meyers. Meyers is nominated for music video of the year for directing Morris’s “GIRL.” Meyers was a double VMA nominee earlier this week (video of the year and best direction) for his work on Billie Eilish‘s “Bad Guy.” Meyers has won the VMA award for video of the year a record four times, for directing Missy Elliott‘s “Work It,” Katy Perry‘s “Firework,” Kendrick Lamar‘s “Humble.” (which he co-directed with Lamar and Dave Free) and Camila Cabello‘s “Havana” (featuring Young Thug). Meyers is a two-time Grammy winner for his work on Eminem‘s “Lose Control” and Elliott’s “Work It.”
Hannah Lux Davis. Davis is nominated for music video of the year for directing Kacey Musgraves‘ “Rainbow.” Davis was nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards earlier this week (video of the year and best direction) for directing Ariana Grande‘s “Thank U, Next.” Davis has also worked with such pop artists as Halsey, Nicki Minaj, DNCE, Fifth Harmony and Bebe Rexha.
The Stereotypes. The Los Angeles-based production and songwriting team—consisting of Jonathan Yip, Ray Romulus, Jeremy Reeves and Charm—is nominated for album of the year for co-producing Thomas Rhett‘s Center Point Road. The team has written and produced tracks for such artists as Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber, Ne-Yo, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown and Fifth Harmony. They received a 2017 Grammy nom for producer of the year, non-classical.