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Bob Dylan Wins 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature

The Swedish Academy cited the American musician for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

Updated:October 14, 2016, 10:15 AM IST

American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

"Bob Dylan writes poetry for the ear," said Sara Danius, secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, while announcing the award on Thursday morning. "But it's perfectly fine to read his works as poetry."

Danius said while Dylan performs his poetry in the form of songs, that's no different from the ancient Greeks, whose works were often performed to music.

Dylan is the first musician in the world to get the prestigious award and the first American winner of the Nobel literature prize since Toni Morrison in 1993.

The 75-year-old iconic singer's impact on popular culture has been immense with songs such as Blowin' in the Wind and The Times They Are A-Changin' becoming anthems for the US anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1960s.

Reporters and others gathered at the Swedish Academy's headquarters in Stockholm's Old Town reacted with a loud cheer as his name was read out. The folk singer has been mentioned in Nobel speculation in past years, but was never seen as a serious contender.

Dylan will take home the eight million kronor (USD 906,000 or 822,000 euros) prize sum.Literature was the last of this year's Nobel prizes to be awarded. The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.

The 2016 laureates will receive their awards -- a gold medal and a diploma -- at a formal ceremony in Stockholm as tradition dictates on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel.

The Nobel award is the latest accolade for a singer who has come a long way from his humble beginnings as Robert Allen Zimmerman, born in 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, who taught himself to play the harmonica, guitar and piano.

(With Agency Inputs)

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