Johnny Cash - "Hurt" (Nine Inch Nails cover)
The beauty of cover songs is hearing how two artists can interpret the same song in completely different ways. One of the best examples of that is in Johnny Cash’s rendition of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails. The song was originally written from a place of loneliness and desperation, which is clear throughout the song. But when Johnny Cash sang it, the emotional level of the song reached new levels.
Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails sang it to express the hardships of a certain point in his life, but Cash’s version becomes more of a look back on his entire life. With the pain in his voice, the physical weakness he shows in the video, and the respect he'd already earned by this point, Johnny Cash’s version cuts a hole in your heart in a way that the original could never do. Even Reznor readily admits now: "Hurt" is a Johnny Cash song.