Portal:Bob Dylan

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Introduction

Bob Dylan plays a guitar and sings into a microphone.
Dylan at Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, in June 2010

Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, and artist who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became a reluctant "voice of a generation" with songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" which became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement. In 1965, he controversially "went electric", branching out from his earlier work and alienating some fans of the American folk music revival, recording a six-minute single, "Like a Rolling Stone," which enlarged the scope of popular music.

Dylan's lyrics incorporate a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. They defied existing pop-music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture. Initially inspired by the performances of Little Richard and the songwriting of Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, Dylan has amplified and personalized musical genres. In his recording career, Dylan has explored many of the traditions in American song—from folk, blues, and country to gospel, and rock and roll, and from rockabilly to English, Scottish, and Irish folk music, embracing even jazz and the Great American Songbook. Dylan performs on guitar, keyboards, and harmonica. Backed by a changing lineup of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed "the Never Ending Tour." His accomplishments as a recording artist and performer have been central to his career, but his songwriting is considered his greatest contribution.

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