Posted: 14 October, 2016

Bob Dylan: Singer, Songwriter, Nobel Winner

Folk musician wins 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature

US singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature.

The gravelly voiced folk musician has been a towering force in music for more than 60 years, continually defying expectations and influencing countless other musicians.

He's been called the voice of a generation - a moniker he continues to refute - and songs like Blowin' in the Wind and The Times They Are A-Changin' became anthems of the civil rights movement.

Dylan's no stranger to public acclaim: over his career, he's sold 100 million records, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He's also won twelve Grammys, an Oscar and a Golden Globe (for Things Have Changed, the theme to the movie Wonder Boys), and been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.

But his presence as one of the greatest living artistic figure was cemented further overnight when he was named the surprise winner of the Nobel prize in literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

After the announcement, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius, said it had “not been a difficult decision” and she hoped the academy would not be criticised for its choice.

“We hoped the news would be received with joy, but you never know,” she said, comparing Dylan's writing to Greek philosophers like Homer and Sappho.

“We’re really giving it to Bob Dylan as a great poet – that’s the reason we awarded him the prize. He’s a great poet in the great English tradition, stretching from Milton and Blake onwards. And he’s a very interesting traditionalist, in a highly original way. Not just the written tradition, but also the oral one; not just high literature, but also low literature.”

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