Bob Dylan performing during the 37th AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Michael Douglas, Culver City, California, June 11, 2009.
AFP/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/KEVIN WINTER
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Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature Thursday, a stunning announcement that for the first time bestowed the prestigious award on a musician for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".Dylan, 75, is the best-known poet-musician of his generation. Dylan tried them all, sometimes separately and other times simultaneously, establishing a towering influence.Although mentioned in Nobel speculation for years, many experts had ruled out Dylan, thinking the academy wouldn't extend its more than a century-old award to the world of music.The academy's permanent secretary, Sara Danius, said while Dylan performs his poetry as song lyrics, that's no different from the ancient Greeks, whose works were often performed to music.Dylan is the most unorthodox Nobel literature prize winner since 1997, when the award went to Italian playwright Dario Fo, whose works some say also need to be performed to be fully appreciated.
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