Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN (stylized as NIИ), is an American industrial rock band formed in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio. The band was founded by lead singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, who was the band's only official member until adding English musician Atticus Ross in 2016. The band has signed with several major labels over the course of three decades, the 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 recording 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. While attempting to terminate his contract, Reznor signed with Interscope Records and released the EP Broken (1992), which diverged significantly from the sound of Pretty Hate Machine. 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 over 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 the addition of Atticus Ross in December 2016, Reznor was considered the only constant member and creative force of the band. 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 and reworked 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.