Bob Dylan, born Robert Andrew Zimmerman, was born in Duluth, Minnesota in May of 1941. His early childhood was filled with music, rather than literature; he would often find himself listening to the radio when he had spare time, and in his high school days he created and performed in several bands.
After dropping out of the University of Minnesota, he moved to New York and began his history as a professional singer and songwriter. Dylan easily found himself entrenched in rock and roll, and his notoriety expanded so much that he was considered a voice of a generation for his topical songs. His tendency to lean towards controversial songs—Freewheelin’, a 1963 track written about the dangers of nuclear armament, all the way to Tempest, a 2012 album that redefined Dylan’s take on his previously lighthearted songs—has been a continual pull for people of all ages.
As lyrically gifted as he is, however, Dylan’s lyrics are notably poetic in style, and on October 11, 2016, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in recognition of this fact. It is perhaps his greatest achievement to date.
Dylan’s work revolves around a variety of topics, including homages to other singers—in his Tempest album, he composed a tribute to John Lennon, and Shadows in the Night was an album composed of songs written entirely by Frank Sinatra. His rebellious nature was strongly reflected in his earlier works, emphasizing the voice of the new generation rather than conforming to traditional music standards.
If you’d like to read more bout Bob Dylan, or would like to listen to his influential music, you can do so at his official website.