Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature in recognition of having “created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” over his prolific five decade career.

The 75-year-old singer-songwriter is the first musician to have received the prestigious award from the Swedish Academy in its 115 year history. The panel apparently made the decision in a spirit of “great unity”.

Permanent Secretary of the Nobel Academy, Sara Danius, announced the news at the Old Stockholm Stock Exchange Building in the Swedish capital, saying Dylan deserved the award because he is “a great poet – a great poet in the English speaking tradition. For fifty-four years now he’s been at it, reinventing himself, constantly creating a new identity… Dylan has the status of an icon”

“He is probably the greatest living poet”, added Academy member Per Wastberg. 

Dylan, whose debut album was released in 1962 and continues to tour and release new music to this day, is the recipient of a $1.2 million prize.

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