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Bob Dylan Celebrates His 75th Birthday Today


Gus Stewart/Redferns via Getty ImagesHappy birthday, Bob Dylan. The legendary, much-lauded singer-songwriter was born Robert Allen Zimmerman 75 years ago today in Duluth, Minnesota.

Dylan made his early mark as a folk artist, chronicling and commenting on the social unrest of the 1960s with songs like 1963’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and 1964’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” With his insightful and poetic lyrics, he also was heartily embraced by the rock and pop world.  His music influenced and inspired countless artists, including The Beatles.

In the mid 1960s, Dylan moved toward a more rock sound when he began incorporating electric instruments into his music on such songs as “Like a Rolling Stone.” His performance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, during which he played live with amplified guitars for the first time, initially drew the ire of some of his folk purists. After being injured in a serious motorcycle accident at the height of his popularity in 1966, Dylan withdrew from the public eye for a time. When he reemerged with 1967’s John Wesley Harding, Bob’s focus had returned to a more rootsy sound that again influenced many of the era’s top rock artists.

Over the years, Dylan also has explored country music and Christian rock, although most of his work has been anchored by folk, blues and rock ‘n’ roll. Most recently, he’s turned his attention to pop standards, with 2015’s Shadows in the Night and the just-released album Fallen Angels, both of which feature covers of songs that Frank Sinatra recorded. Dylan will kick off a new U.S. tour in support of Fallen Angels June 4 in Woodinville, Washington.

Not surprisingly, Dylan has received many major honors during his career, including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He also was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012, and was named the Recording Academy’s MusiCares Person of the Year in 2015. In addition, Dylan has won 11 Grammy Awards and an Oscar.

In honor of Dylan’s 75th birthday, Rolling Stone has compiled a list of his 100 greatest songs, featuring commentary by such music stars as Mick Jagger, Bono, David Crosby, Lenny Kravitz and more. Check it out at RollingStone.com.

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