Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for literature, organizers of the award said Thursday.
They lauded the 75-year-old singer and songwriter "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."
With songs like "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'," Dylan created anthems for the anti-war and civil rights movements.
The news came as somewhat of a surprise as it typically has gone to authors known for novels, short stories or poetry.
The literature honor is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, in 1895. The others are prizes in chemistry, physics, medicine and the Nobel Peace Prize.
Since 1901, the literature prize has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, according to Nobel's will, written "the most outstanding work in an ideal direction." It is presented by the Swedish Academy.
Past laureates include U.S. writers Toni Morrison and Saul Bellow, Britain's Harold Pinter and William Golding, Ireland's Samuel Beckett, Canada's Alice Munro, South Africa's Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee, Colombia's Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Chile's Pablo Neruda, France's Jean-Paul Sartre, Germany's Gunter Grass, Turkey's Orhan Pamuk and China's Mo Yan. Last year, Svetlana Alexievich of Belarus won the award.
Dylan is the first American to receive the honor since Morrison won it in 1993.