In a surprise announcement, the Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to US singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, the first time the prestigious award goes to someone primarily seen as a musician.
The Swedish Academy said on Thursday that the 75-year-old rock legend won the prize “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
“Dylan has the status of an icon. His influence on contemporary music is profound,” said the Swedish Academy after awarding the prize worth $930,000, adding, “He is probably the greatest living poet.”
Last year’s Nobel Prize for Literature was given to Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarusian investigative journalist and non-fiction prose writer who writes in Russian.
Literature was the last of this year’s Nobel prizes to be awarded.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to seal a landmark peace agreement with FARC rebels.
The 2016 Nobel Medicine Prize went to Japanese scientist, Yoshinori Ohsumi, for his studies on autophagy, the process of recycling cellular components whose failures cause the Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.
The Nobel Prize ceremonies take place in Stockholm where each laureate receives a gold medal, a diploma and a sum of money that has been decided by the Nobel Foundation.
If there are two laureates in a particular field, the award is divided equally between the recipients. If there are three, the awarding committee either divides the grant equally, or awards one-half to one recipient and one-quarter to each of the others.
The award is named after the inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel, and has been awarded since 1901 for great achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.
The Nobel Prize awarding committee is sometimes criticized by experts for its biased nominations.