Rock on! Legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday, October 13.
Dylan, 75, won “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” the Swedish Academy, which chooses the recipient, said in a press release. A short list of nominees was not revealed.
The 12-time Grammy winner is the first American to win the prize in over two decades. Novelist Toni Morrison was recognized for her work in 1993.
The Nobel Prize in Literature has been handed out to 113 laureates since 1901. This year, the musician will receive $927,740. Other past winners who have taken home the prize, which usually goes to novelists, poets and playwrights, include journalist Svetlana Alexievich, short story writer Alice Munro and writer William Faulkner.
The Minnesota native broke out in the music industry after dropping out of college in the 1960s. He has released 37 studio albums and is best known for huge hits such as “Forever Young,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
According to the Associated Press, it’s been speculated for years that Dylan would be recognized for his work by the Swedish Academy. Said member Per Wastberg: “He is probably the greatest living poet.”
Some aren’t as convinced and take issue with the categorization of Dylan’s lyrics as “literature.”
“Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature? The times they are a’ changin,'” one person tweeted, appearing to be a bit puzzled by the announcement. The New York Times‘ Pamela Paul added: “Still processing Bob Dylan winning Nobel Prize in Literature. So many deserving novelists. … Second year in a row Nobel Prize in Lit hasn’t gone to fiction writer. Someone could write a good story about this.”
Another critic didn’t hold back either. “I’m sorry but this is total bulls—T,” the commenter posted. “(spare me the hate emails).”
Others, meanwhile, are cheering for him. “Congratulations to #BobDylan, poet, songwriter, spiritual guide, voice of a generation, on his #NobelPrizeLiterature. Next year: Springsteen,” one person wrote.
A second added: “Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize. Yes. Yes. Yes.”
Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda included a few clapping emojis in his tweet. “And all the songwriters go,” he wrote.