Bob Dylan, influential singer-songwriter, was on Thursday awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Dylan, who won for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”, becomes the only singer-songwriter to ever be awarded the Nobel Prize.

75-year old Bob Dylan is the first American to win since Toni Morrison in 1993.

The announcement which came at the Stockholm’s stately Royal Academy hall was a bit of a surprise to the audience as they responded with gasps.

Although it was reported that he had a shot at the prize, his works do not fit into the Literature category based on precedence, as it is traditionally awarded to works of poetry, short stories, and novels.

Dylan’s songs, such as “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “The Times They Are a-Changin'”, “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Like a Rolling Stone” captured a spirit of rebellion, dissent, and independence.

The Nobel Prize is awarded for a lifetime of work and not a single body of work.

The Nobel Prize which is one of the most prestigious awards in the world comes with a cash prize of 8 million Swedish kronor ($930,000).

“Dylan has the status of an icon. His influence on contemporary music is profound. He is probably the greatest living poet”, said Per Wastberg, a member of the Swedish Academy.

50 years later, Bob Dylan still writes songs and is often on tour performing his dense poetic lyrics.

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