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  • An enduring cultural icon and lyricist who provided the soundtrack for a generation, Bob Dylan is one the most prolific singer-songwriters in the music industry. His songs and lyrics have inspired thousands of fans and earned him accolades, including most recently, a Nobel Prize. </br></br>Bob Dylan performs "Cry A While" at the 44th annual Grammy Awards, Feb. 27, 2002, in Los Angeles.
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  • Bob Dylan during his senior year at Hibbing High School in Hibbing, Minn., 1959.
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  • Bob Dylan relocated to the New York City after dropping out of college in 1961, performing in clubs and coffeehouses around the Village and immersing himself in the folk music scene. </br></br>Dylan performs at The Bitter End folk club in Greenwich Village in 1961 in New York City.
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  • After he relocated to New York City, Dylan would visit with his musical idol, ailing folk singer Woody Guthrie. In 1961, Dylan was signed to Columbia Records by legendary producer John Hammond and released his first album 'Bob Dylan' in 1962. The album, which consisted mostly of familiar folk sounding covers, included two original songs dedicated to his musical idol. </br></br>Bob Dylan plays guitar while smoking a cigarette, circa September 1961, in New York.
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  • Bob Dylan walking with his girlfriend Suze Rotolo in September 1961 in New York. </br></br>Rotolo appears with Dylan on the iconic album cover of 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan' released in 1963. Freewheelin' included classic songs, "Blowin' in the Wind," "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna-Fall" and "Don't Think Twice it's Alright", propelling him to national and international fame and subsequent recognition as "the voice of a generation."
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  • Folk singers Joan Baez and Bob Dylan perform during a civil rights rally, Aug. 28, 1963, in Washington. </br></br>Baez, like Dylan, was known for her political activism and writing and performing protest songs. Baez recorded many of Dylan's early songs, the two often performing together. They had a romantic relationship for much of the mid-1960s and continued to collaborate throughout both their careers, including Baez performing with Dylan on his 'Rolling Thunder Revue' tour in 1975.
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  • Bob Dylan plays a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar for the first time on stage as he performs at the Newport Folk Festival on the evening of July 25, 1965 in Newport, R.I. </br></br>Dyan’s electric set was unexpected, very short, and elicited a mixed reaction from the crowd as he was met with cheering and booing. His controversial performance provoked a hostile response from the folk music community, who criticized his move away from the genre’s traditional sound.
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  • Bob Dylan embraces Sonny Bono and Cher at Atlantic Studios in 1965 in New York.
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  • Bob Dylan records his album 'Bringing It All Back Home' in January 1965 in Columbia's Studio A in New York. </br></br>The album is divided into an electric and an acoustic side, with side one featuring Dylan backed by an electric rock and roll band, further alienating him from his folk music roots. The album reached No. 6 on Billboard’s Pop Albums chart, the first of Dylan’s LPs to break into the U.S. top 10.
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  • The 1966 World Tour was the first tour Dylan used an electric backing band, who later became The Band. The tour was met with mixed reactions, with audiences often heckling or walking out during the electric set. In May 1966, the tour notoriously came to a head in Manchester, England when an angry audience member called Dylan “Judas”, provoking Dylan who then instructed his band to play louder. Dylan’s 1966 England tour was also documented by filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker whose footage appeared in Martin Scorsese’s 2005 ‘No Direction Home’. <br></br> Bob Dylan in London during his 1966 tour.
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  • Bob Dylan with his wife, Sara Lownds, at Heathrow Airport, London, Sept. 1969. </br></br>Dylan and Lownds secretly wed in 1965 and had four children together, Jesse, Anna, Samuel, and Jakob Dylan. Dylan also adopted Lownds daughter from a prior marriage, Maria Lownds. The couple divorced in 1977.
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  • Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash perform a duet of “Girl from the North Country” on "The Johnny Cash Show," May 1, 1969. </br></br>Cash and Dylan inspired each other musically but also had a personal friendship that lasted until Cash’s death in 2003. Cash was an early supporter of Dylan and defended him after his contract was in jeopardy with Columbia Records, after his debut album flopped.
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  • George Harrison and Bob Dylan perform onstage at the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 1, 1971 in New York. </br></br>Harrison and Dylan co-wrote and performed together in the early 1970s then later co-founded the supergroup, the Traveling Wiburys, in 1988 with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty.
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  • Bob Dylan in December 1971 in New York.
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  • Bob Dylan performs before a sold-out crowd, Dec. 8, 1975, at New York's Madison Square Garden during a benefit concert for former Boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who was imprisoned in 1966 for a triple murder. </br></br>Dylan wrote a song about Hurricane Carter, presenting the case for Carter’s innocence. The song was released as a single and performed on Dylan’s upcoming Rolling Thunder Revue tour. Carter was eventually freed in 1985 after serving 19 years in prison for three murders he didn’t commit.
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  • Liberace, David Letterman, and Bob Dylan onstage of "Late Night with David Letterman," March 22, 1984.
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  • Bob Dylan performs on stage with Carlos Santana at Wembley, London, July 7, 1984.
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  • Bob Dylan and Tom Petty at Farm Aid, Sept. 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois. </br></br>Bob Dylan toured with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 1986 and 1987, sharing vocals with Petty on several songs each night. Dylan collaborated with Petty again in 1988 with the band, the Traveling Wilburys, alongside George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison.
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  • Elizabeth Taylor and Bob Dylan sit at a table together during a special tribute to Dylan by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in Los Angeles, March 31, 1986.
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  • Bob Dylan performing on MTV unplugged at the Sony Music Studio in New York City, Nov. 18, 1994.
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  • Established in 1994, the Gish Prize is given annually to "a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind's enjoyment and understanding of life." That same year, Dylan also released ‘Time Out of Mine’ in September, which won him his first solo Grammy for “Album of the Year." </br></br>Bob Dylan holds the 1997 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize presented by Richard Avedon during ceremonies in New York, Oct. 16, 1997.
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  • Bob Dylan at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland on June 23, 2004, after he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from Sir Kenneth Dover, Chancellor of the university. </br></br>Dylan has only ever accepted one other honorary degree, from Princeton University in 1970.
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  • President Barack Obama presents Bob Dylan with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony at the White House in Washington on May 29, 2012. Dylan also received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1997 from President Bill Clinton. Both presidents praised the powerful message of his lyrics and songwriting.
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  • Bob Dylan performs on stage during the 21st edition of the Vieilles Charrues music festival in Carhaix-Plouguer, western France, July 22, 2012.
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  • Honoree Bob Dylan speaks onstage at the 25th anniversary MusiCares 2015 'Person of the Year' gala honoring Bob Dylan at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Feb, 6, 2015, in Los Angeles.
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  • Books by Bob Dylan, who was announced the laureate of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, are displayed at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, Oct. 13, 2016. </br></br>The first songwriter to receive the prize, Bob Dylan accepted his award in a private ceremony on April 1, 2017 after months of uncertainty and controversy when Dylan failed to attend the initial ceremony in August 2016. Instead, Patti Smith attended and performed in Dylan's place.
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