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American Rock Sensation Bob Dylan Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.S. musician Bob Dylan (R) performs on the second day of the Hop Farm Music Festival in Paddock Wood, Kent June 30, 2012. REUTERS/ Ki Price

After a little over a decade of being nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, American rock sensation Bob Dylan won one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel— noting that a musician winning the top award in literature is a first.

Mr. Dylan, 75, is the first musician to win the award, and his selection on Thursday is perhaps the most far-reaching choice in a history stretching back to 1901.

After being rewarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature, Mr. Dylan, the poet laureate of the rock era, will have his name shining along those of T. S. Eliot, Gabriel García Márquez, Toni Morrison and Samuel Beckett.

It’s not the first time it has stretched the definition of literature. In 1953, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill received the prize, in part as recognition of the literary qualities of his soaring political speeches.

Mr. Dylan, born in 1941, was credited by the Swedish Academy for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Awarding Mr. Dylan, although lauded by many who support the academy’s choice, caused heated controversy. Many argue that the musical sensation and lyrical poet – although having presented innovative and raw pieces of art- still doesn’t fit the criteria for the Nobel Prize in ‘Literature’ particularly.

Mr. Dylan, whose original name is Robert Allen Zimmerman, was born on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minn. He emerged on the New York music scene in 1961 as an artist in the tradition of Woody Guthrie, singing protest songs and strumming an acoustic guitar in clubs and cafes in Greenwich Village.

Mr. Dylan’s many honors include Grammy, Academy and Golden Globe awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, won a special Pulitzer Prize in 2008 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.