Fans celebrated the pioneering folk icon with the nasal voice on Monday with parties worldwide.
In Duluth, Minn., where Dylan was born in 1941, the 11th annual Duluth Dylan Fest is featuring performances by local artists and tribute bands as well as songwriting and poetry contests. The nine-day festival includes a free birthday party at Dylan’s childhood home.
The 10-time Grammy winner, born Robert Zimmerman, recorded more than three dozen studio albums.
Some of his hits include “Like A Rolling Stone,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’” and “Blowing in the Wind.”
Bob Dylan performs as part of a historic double bill with Neil Young/Bob Dylan at Hyde Park on July 12, 2019, in London, England. (Photo by Brian Rasic/WireImage)
Former President Barack Obama gave Dylan the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
“There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music,” Obama said during the ceremony. “All these years later, he’s still chasing that sound and still searching for a little bit of truth, and I have to say I am a really big fan.”
The first songwriter to receive such a distinction, Dylan was named the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” according to the Swedish Academy.
Dylan has performed regularly even as he’s aged, so much so that fans have joked he’s been on the “Never-Ending Tour” since the late 1980s.
Dylan, ever the recluse and enigma, was most recently honored in “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese,” a blistering semi-fictional documentary that chronicles Dylan’s mythic 1975-1976 rambling cavalcade across a post-Vietnam America.
Dylan was deadly serious about post-’60s disillusionment.
Dylan says in the film it was when people lost conviction in everything.
Scorsese believes a lot more than ashes remains.
“He may not be aware of the beauty, the inspiration,” the director says of Dylan. “The words, the music, the performance, the thinking, the provocation — all of this has an impact on people. The ones who are able to hear it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.