Bob Dylan is an American songwriter, singer, artist and has been influential musician. His music has been popular with the masses for more than five decades. He is known for his songs related to social unrests and his songs like 'Blowin in the wind' and 'The Times They Are a Changin' became anthems of the civil rights and anti war movements. In his musical career, he has explored traditions in American songs from folk, blues, rock and roll to gospel, county to English and Irish Folk Music. Since 1980, he has been touring steadily and the tour is aptly titled as 'The Never Ending Tour'. He has been able to sell more than 100 million records and he is considered as the best selling artists of all times. He has been a recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award. His lyrics are considered as his greatest contribution and in May 2012, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama. More recently, he was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Bob Dylan was born as Robert Allen Zimmerman on 24th May 1941 in Minnesota. He had interest in music from his childhood itself and he used to imitate Little Richard on the piano at high school drama. He was influenced by singers like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and he formed his own band and while attending the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, he began performing folk and country songs at local cafe's and there he took the name Bob Dillon. Bob dropped off from college in 1960 and moved to New York after his idol, Woody Guthrie was hospitalized with a rare disease of nervous system. He visited him regularly at the hospital and also at the same time became a regular at the folk clubs and there he met many musicians and he began to write songs at a shocking pace. His writings then included songs like 'Song to Woody' which was his tribute to his ailing hero. In 1961, he received a rave review in The New York Times after one of his performances that led him to sign a recording contract with Columbia Records. At this time he changed his surname legally to Dylan and in 1962, his two songs were released that showcased his voice and singing style. He was marked as one of the most original and poetic voices in the history of American popular music after the 1963 release of "The Freewheelin". The album included two of his most popular songs, 'Blowin in the Wind' and 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall'. He rose to popularity after his next album 'The Times They Are A Changin' that established him as the songwriter of the protest movement. His reputation increased after he was involved with movement established icon Joan Baez. He wrote some of Baez's best known materials and Baez introduced him to thousands of her fans through concerts. However, he disappointed his folk fans after recording the half acoustic, half electric album 'Bringing It All Back Home' and was famously booed at the Newport Folk Festival where he performed electrically for the first time. Later albums like 'Highway 61 Revisited (1965)' and 'Blonde on Blonde (1966)' represented him as one of the most innovative artists of the time.
Bob met with a near fatal motorcycle accident in July 1966 and spent almost a year recovering. His later albums 'John Wesley Harding (1968)' and 'Nashville Skyline (1969)' were mellower than his earlier works. He continued to reinvent himself over the course for the next three decades. In 1973, he appeared in the feature film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and also wrote the films soundtrack which includes the classic "Knockin on Heaven’s Door". Later in 1974, he began his first full scale tour after his accident and made a sold out nationwide tour with his longtime backup band, 'The Band'. He also recorded an album with the Band titled Planet Waves which marked as his first No 1 album ever. Later in 1975, his success continued to emerge after the release of the album 'Blood' and the 1976 release 'Tracks and Desire' that were chart toppers. His 1979 release 'Slow Coming Train' was a commercial hit and helped him to win his first Grammy Award. In 1982, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Since 1980, he began to tour full time with legends like Tom Petty as well as Heartbreakers and the Grateful Dead. His albums of the 80's include 'Infidels', the 'Five Disc Retrospective Biograph', 'Knocked Out Loaded' and 'Oh Mercy' which became one of his best received albums in the years to come. He returned back to folk music in 1994 and won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album for his album 'World Gone Wrong'. He in 1989 was inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and he in 1997 became the first rock star ever to receive Kennedy Center Honors, the nation's highest award for artistic excellence. His 1997 released album 'Time Out of Mind' was a huge hit and helped him in winning three Grammy Awards. At the same time, he continued his tours and in 2000 he recorded the single "Things Have Changed" for the film Wonder Boys. The song helped him win the Golden Globe Award as well as an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Dylan then took time out from his music to tell the story of his life. The singer released Chronicles: Volume One, the first in a three-book memoir series, in the Fall of 2004. Dylan gave his first full interview in 20 years for a documentary released in 2005 entitled No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, the film was directed by Martin Scorsese. He continued his musical career and in 2011 he released another live album Bob Dylan in Concert- Brandeis University 1963. His album 'Tempest' was released in September 2012. In 2015, a cover album of American Standards titled 'Shadows in the Night' was released. In 2016, he released 'Fallen Angels', his 37th studio album that includes more classic songs from Great American Songbook.
Dylan was married to Sara Lowndes but they divorced in June 1977. He was also linked with another singer Mavis Staples but never married her. Dylan had four children with Sara - Jesse, Anna, Samuel and Jakob. He also adopted Sara's daughter Maria from previous marriage. His son Jakob is now a lead singer of a popular rock-band titled 'The Wallflowers'.