Reznor had been a million-selling rock star for years when the Cash cover became the country star's swansong following its release a couple of months after his death.
But Reznor at first found it difficult to listen to a singer of Cash's stature covering his work.
He says, "When my friend (Cash producer) Rick Rubin asked if Johnny could cover Hurt, I said yes immediately because I trust Rick and I admired Johnny a great deal.
"Later, when I heard the recording, I felt a little invaded, I have to admit. It was my song, one of the most personal I've ever written. And now it's got this massive voice attached to it that isn't mine.
"A couple of weeks after that I saw the video. And that's when it all come together. I got goosebumps, I welled up with tears and I knew it wasn't my song anymore.
"And I say that not in a jealous way. Hearing this song come back at me, a completely different interpretation, and having it have arguably more power than my version.
"It was just unusual. I come from rural Pennsylvania and I think when the Cash version came out it got around that I wrote it, and suddenly people there thought I'd made it."01/04/2005 21:00