Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize in literature 
American music legend Bob Dylan performs in Shanghai, China, in 2011. 

(Philippe Lopez / AFP/Getty Images)
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American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature on 
Thursday, a stunning announcement that for the first time bestowed the 
prestigious award on a musician.

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

Reporters and others gathered for the announcement at the academy's 
headquarters in Stockholm's Old Town reacted with a loud cheer as his name was 
read out.

Dylan had been mentioned in the Nobel speculation for years, but few experts 
expected the academy to extend the prestigious award to a genre such as popular 

The academy's permanent secretary, Sara Danius, said that 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.

"Bob Dylan writes poetry for the ear," she said. "But it's perfectly fine to 
read his works as poetry."

Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota. He grew 
up in a Jewish middle-class family. He's the first American winner of the Nobel 
literature prize since Toni Morrison in 1992.

Folk singers Joan Baez and Bob Dylan perform during the March on Washington 
civil rights rally, on Aug. 28, 1963. 

(Rowland Scherman / Getty Images)
By his early 20s, he had taken the folk music world by storm. "Blowin' in the 
Wind" and "The Times They Are A-Changin" became anthems for the anti-war and 
civil rights movements of the 1960s. Dylan was also awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 
2008 for his contributions to music and American culture.

The literature award was the last of this year's Nobel Prizes to be announced. 
The six awards will be handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder 
Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.

Associated Press.

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