STOCKHOLM (AFP) – US rock music legend Bob Dylan, whose poetic lyrics have influenced generations of fans, won the Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday, the first songwriter to win the award in a decision that stunned prize watchers.
The 75-year-old was honoured “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”, the Swedish Academy said.
The choice was met by gasps and a long round of spontaneous applause from journalists attending the prize announcement. The folk rock singer had been mentioned in Nobel speculation over the years, but was never seen as a serious contender.
The Academy’s permanent secretary Sara Danius said Dylan’s songs were “poetry for the ears” while acknowledging that some might find Dylan a “strange” choice.