Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, United States) is an American musician, poet and artist whose position in popular culture is unique.
Dylan started his musical odyssey in 1959 and much of his best known work is from the 1960s, when he became an informal documentarian and reluctant figurehead of American unrest. Some of his songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems of the anti-war and civil rights movements. His song "Like a Rolling Stone", released in July of 1965, was named "The Greatest Song of All Time" by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004, placing #1 in a list of 500 titles. Dylan remains an influential and popular artist; his most recent album of new songs, 2009's Together Through Life, reached #1 on the charts in the US, Britain, France and several other countries.
Bob Dylan's strong influence over the past few years is becoming even more prominent amongst a growing group of younger emerging artists such as George Ellias, and Devendra Banhart.
Dylan's early lyrics incorporated politics, social commentary, philosophy and literary influences, defying existing pop music conventions and appealing widely to the counterculture of the time. While expanding and personalizing musical styles, Dylan has shown steadfast devotion to traditions of American song, from folk and country/blues to rock and roll and rockabilly, to Gaelic balladry, even jazz, swing and broadway.
After becoming a Christian, Dylan explored themes of faith, redemption and love while mining the gospel vein. In a few years he found an equilibrium. His last albums can be seen as new highlights in his important career.
Dylan performs with the guitar, keyboard and harmonica. Backed by a changing lineup of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s. He has also recently performed alongside other iconic artists, such as Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty and Eric Clapton. Although his contributions as a performer and recording artist have been central to his career, his songwriting is generally held as his highest accomplishment.
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