Michael Trent Reznor (born May 17, 1965) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer. As both a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Reznor has led the industrial rock project Nine Inch Nails since 1988; he left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist for around five years until he signed with Columbia Records. As of 2010, he and his wife Mariqueen Maandig are members of the post-industrial group How to Destroy Angels with Reznor's fellow composer Atticus Ross and graphic designer Rob Sheridan. Reznor and Ross scored the David Fincher films The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Score for the former and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for the latter.
Reznor was previously associated with the bands Option 30, The Innocent, and Exotic Birds in the mid-80s. He gained employment at Right Track Studios in Cleveland and began creating his own music during the studio's closing hours under the name of Nine Inch Nails. Reznor's first release as Nine Inch Nails, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success and Reznor has since released eight major studio albums. Outside of Nine Inch Nails, he has contributed to the albums of artists such as Marilyn Manson and Saul Williams. In 1997, Reznor appeared in Time magazine's list of the year's most influential people and Spin magazine described him as "the most vital artist in music".