The Times They Are A-Changin' indeed. The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to American icon, singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan earlier today. This marks the first time in the history of the awards that a musician has been given the honor. Dylan has also become the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in more than 20 years, since novelist Toni Morrison was recognized in 1993.
According to the Nobel Committee, Dylan was awarded the prize "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, explained to reporters that Dylan was elected winner because he was "a great poet in the English speaking tradition. For 54 years now he's been at it reinventing himself, constantly creating a new identity."
The 75 year old legend performed last week and is set to appear onstage again tomorrow in the Desert Trip Festival alongside rock and roll icons, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Neil Young and The Who.
Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota, is -- along with Prince -- the proud and joy of the 'Land of 10,000 Lakes.' He started his music career in 1959, playing in coffee houses in Minneapolis, and rose to fame with his second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, in 1963.
Bob Dylan's lyrics incorporated political, social and literary aspects and chronicled social unrest. It is safe to say that his music did not match the pop music which was all the rage in the early 60s. His music attracted many young people who were tired of the establishment and the time's social conventions.
His most celebrated songs are "Blowin' in the Wind", "The Times They Are a-Changin'", "Like a Rolling Stone", "It Ain't Me Babe", "Mr. Tambourine Man", "Forever Young", "To Make You Feel My Love", "All Along the Watchtower", "Just Like a Woman", and "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." Many of them captured a spirit of rebellion and became anthems to the counterculture of the time and to the American civil rights and anti-war movements.
The Nobel Prize will be one more recognition for Dylan, as he has won an Academy Award, eleven Grammys, a Golden Globe, has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has also been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Congratulations to one of the world’s most influential musicians on this incredible recognition.