Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN (stylized as NIИ), is an American industrial rock band from Cleveland, Ohio, founded in 1988. The band consists of producer and multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, as well as English musician Atticus Ross. Over the course of their nearly three-decade existence, the band has signed with several major labels, the most current being Capitol Records, under the name The Null Corporation.
The origins of the band date back to 1988, while Reznor was employed as a janitor at a studio in Cleveland. Utilizing off-hour sessions, Reznor recorded and released the band's debut album, the synth-pop oriented Pretty Hate Machine (1989), under TVT Records to minor success. However, Reznor feuded with the label about promotion. Whilst attempting to terminate his contract, Reznor signed with Interscope Records and released the extended play Broken (1992), a release that diverged significantly from the sound of their debut. Their second and third albums, The Downward Spiral (1994) and The Fragile (1999), were released to critical acclaim and commercial success, bringing the band massive popularity, before going on hiatus. The band resumed touring in 2005 and released their fourth album, With Teeth (2005), to further success. Following the release of their fifth album, Year Zero (2007), Reznor left Interscope over a dispute of physical copies of the album. The band continued touring and independently released their sixth and seventh albums, Ghosts I-IV (2008) and The Slip (2008), before going on hiatus a second time. Returning in 2013, the band released their eighth album, Hesitation Marks (2013), under Columbia Records, followed by a trilogy of releases spanning from 2016-2018, including the EPs Not The Actual Events (2016) and Add Violence (2017), as well as their ninth album, Bad Witch (2018).
Prior to 2016, Reznor was considered the only constant member and creative force of the band, acting as its founder, lead singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. In December 2016, English musician Atticus Ross, a frequent collaborator with Reznor, was introduced as a permanent member of Nine Inch Nails. Furthermore, Reznor typically assembles a live band to perform with him onstage. The touring band has comprised several lineups over the course of three decades, the current of which is composed of Robin Finck, Alessandro Cortini, and Ilan Rubin. Their tours often employ thematic visual elements to accompany on-stage performances, which frequently include elaborate light shows, and songs are often rearranged to fit a live setting.
In addition to sales of over 20 million records worldwide, Nine Inch Nails have been nominated for thirteen Grammy Awards, winning twice for the songs "Wish" and "Happiness in Slavery" in 1992 and 1996, respectively. In 1997, Reznor appeared in Time magazine's list of the year's most influential people, and Spin magazine has described him as "the most vital artist in music". In 2004, Rolling Stone placed Nine Inch Nails at 94 on the magazine's list of the 100 greatest artists of all time. Nine Inch Nails was named as a nominee for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, its first year of eligibility. The band was nominated again the following year, but was not inducted.