STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to American musician Bob Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."
Sara Danius, permanent secretary for the Swedish Academy, said Dylan deserves the award because he is a "great poet."
"He is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition, and he is a wonderful sampler. A very original sampler. He embodies the tradition and for 54 years now he has been at it, and reinventing himself constantly -- reinventing himself, creating a new identity," Danius said after announcing the recipient of the esteemed award.
Danius said newcomers to Dylan's work should begin by listening to Blonde on Blonde -- Dylan's seventh studio album.
When asked whether she thinks there would be criticism for giving the prize to an American musician, Danius said she "would hope not."
Dylan, 75, from Duluth, Minn., has enjoyed decades of high-profile success in the American and worldwide music industry. Among his many hits are "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are A-Changin."
"Every song I sing is a protest song," Dylan said in 1986, adding that the exact meaning of his songs is left up to interpretation. "You know, everybody sees a different message, I guess, so you have to figure out what it is ... It's like looking at a painting and everybody sees something different."