#RespectYourElders: American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan (born 1941) became the newest winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature last week. He is the first musician to ever receive this honor, which takes into account a lifetime of work.

Bob Dylan began his music career in July 1962 after releasing his self-titled debut album, and is known for his poetic lyrics, including in fan favorites like “Mr. Tambourine Man”and “Like a Rolling Stone.” Dylan published a collection of poetry in 1971, solidifying his position as both a poet and musician in the hearts of millions. Over the course of his career, Dylan has won a dozen Grammy Awards, as well as a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for original songs.

In addition to his impressive catalog, Dylan was active in the civil rights movement and many call his songs “The Times They Are a-Changin” and “Blowin’ in the Wind”as “quintessential” to the era. His music inspired many other artists to explore political messages in their music in new ways.

Even with his strong repertoire of work, this choice by the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize, was not without controversy, with some doubting whether a singer should be in the same category as the novelists who came before him. Regardless of these opinions, the academy held strong. They said, “Dylan has the status of an icon. His influence on contemporary music is profound, and he is the object of a steady stream of secondary literature.”

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