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Bob Dylan to skip Nobel Prize ceremony for 'pre-existing commitments'

By Stephen Feller
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Bob Dylan to skip Nobel Prize ceremony for 'pre-existing commitments'
Bob Dylan, pictured at center in a white hat during a performance at the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest in 2007, notified the Nobel academy earlier this week that he will not be attending the award ceremony in Stockholm in December because of "pre-existing commitments." File photo by Grace Chiu/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- It took Bob Dylan two weeks to acknowledge he'd been given the Nobel Prize for literature, and he said he wasn't sure he could make it. As of Wednesday, however, he knew for sure.

Dylan will not travel to Stockholm on Dec. 10 to accept the most important literature prize in the world, letting the Nobel committee know earlier this week that he could not make it due to "pre-existing commitments," the Nobel Academy said on its website.

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"Yesterday evening the Swedish Academy received a personal letter from Bob Dylan, in which he explained that due to pre-existing commitments, he is unable to travel to Stockholm in December and therefore will not attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony," the academy said on its website. "He underscored, once again, that he feels very honored indeed, wishing that he could receive the prize in person."

In the statement, the academy noted that several previous recipients of the award have elected not to come to the ceremony, calling the decision "unusual, to be sure, but not exceptional."

Dylan's official website lists no tour dates beyond a Nov. 23 concert in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but considering it took two weeks for him to publicly acknowledge the award, the announcement is not shocking. His website had made mention of the Nobel within hours of the award's announcement, but even that post was taken down within days.

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"We look forward to Bob Dylan's Nobel Lecture, which he must give -- it is the only requirement [for the prize] -- within six months counting from Dec. 10, 2016," the academy said.

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