Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota) is an American singer-songwriter, author, poet and disc jockey, who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades. Much of Dylan’s most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal chronicler and a reluctant figurehead of American unrest. A number of his songs, such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’”,
Dylan’s early lyrics incorporated politics, social commentary, philosophy and literary influences, defying existing pop music conventions and appealing widely to the counterculture. While expanding and personalizing musical styles, he has shown steadfast devotion to many traditions of American song, from folk, blues and country to gospel, rock and roll and rockabilly to English, Scottish and Irish folk music, and even jazz and swing.
Dylan performs with the guitar, piano and harmonica. Backed by a changing line-up of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the “Never Ending Tour.” Although his accomplishments as performer and recording artist have been central to his career, his songwriting is generally regarded as his greatest contribution.
During his career, Dylan has won many awards for his songwriting, performing, and recording. His records have earned Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards, and he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1999, Dylan was included in the Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, and in 2004, he was ranked number two in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “Greatest Artists of All Time.”
In 2008, Dylan was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”
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