Dubbed as the saddest video in history, Hurt by Johnny Cash can still bring tears to every listener – recalling how heartfelt the singer put emotion in every word. It is a cover song that has become more popular than the original.
It was written by Trent Reznor and first recorded by the American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails in 1994.
Reznor penned the song at the time of severe depression; hence the song originally describes heroin dependence and self-inflicted violence. However, Cash’s rendition executes a special interpretation based solely on who is singing the song. He sang “Hurt” as a man who was nearing his death.
Since the song was very personal to Reznor, he originally reacted to the thought of a Johnny Cash cover as “gimmicky.” But he was ultimately able to recognize the masterpiece that Cash had produced from the song.
He was moved upon watching the music video, complemented with Cash’s overwhelming yet delicate representation of the old musician in the bizarre setting of his house. It was shot just seven months before the singer’s death. Reznor stated that Cash’s rendition demonstrated a more sorrowful and fated feeling.
Johnny Cash’s Hurt won the “Single of the Year” award at the 37th Country Music Association Awards. It also received six nominations at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, securing Best Cinematography. His version also won the Best Short Form Music Video at the 46th Annual Grammy Award. Moreover, the song received a Double Platinum from RIAA and Platinum from BP in the United Kingdom.
This is one of Johnny Cash’s songs that is deemed widely as one of his most tear-jerking songs of all time. Let’s listen to the world-renowned cover and video of Hurt by Johnny Cash.