STOCKHOLM (TIP): Bob Dylan, regarded as the voice of a generation for his influential songs from the 1960s onwards, has won the Nobel Prize for Literature in a surprise decision that gave a singer-songwriter one of the world’s most prestigious cultural awards. His songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “Masters of War”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”, “The Times They Are a-Changin”, “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Like a Rolling Stone” captured a spirit of rebellion, dissent and independence.
“Dylan has the status of an icon. His influence on contemporary music is profound,” the Swedish Academy said on Thursday, when it awarded the 8 million Swedish crown ($930,000) prize.
Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman in 1941 and began his musical career in 1959, playing in coffee houses in Minnesota.
More than 50 years on, Dylan is still writing songs and is often on tour.
“He is probably the greatest living poet,” Swedish Academy Member Per Wastberg said.
Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Nobel Academy, told a news conference there was “great unity” in the panel’s decision to give Dylan the prize.
The literature award caps the 2016 Nobel season, following more than a week of announcements for the prizes for medicine, physics, chemistry, economics and peace, with the latter going to Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos for his efforts to end a half-century war with the FARC rebels.
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 prize creator Alfred Nobel.
A separate ceremony is held in Oslo for the peace prize laureate on the same day, as the Norwegian Nobel Committee grants that award.
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.