"The greatest living poet" is the first musician to be awarded the prize.
American singer and songwriter Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday for, according to the Swedish Academy, "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."
Dylan is the first musician to be awarded the prize.
"He is probably the greatest living poet," Swedish Academy member Per Wastberg said.
The singer also made history in 2008, becoming the first rock and roll artist to receive a Pulitzer Prize for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."
"He can be read and should be read, and is a great poet in the English tradition" https://t.co/g7CnFBlkNB— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 13, 2016
The folk singer's influential songs made him the voice of a generation. Dylan became an icon in popular music and culture after his songs became anthems for the anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1960s.
He will receive the award at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the death of the founder of the prize, Alfred Nobel. He will bring home $906,000 in prize money.