Bob Dylan is 80

Bob Dylan, one of America’s pop and folk music legends, has turned 80. The 10-times Grammy winner recorded over 35 studio albums and sold 125 million records in a career spanning more than 60 years.

Dylan was born as Robert Zimmermann in Duluth, Minnesota on May 25, 1941. During his early life he was strongly influenced and inspired by folk music performers of the 50s and 60s, such as Woodie Guthrie and Hank Williams.

Dylan came to be a great singer and songwriter. In the troublesome 1960s he wrote songs about the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. His greatest hits include The Times They Are A’Changing about the generation gap between the young and old, Blowin’ in the Wind, a protest song about peace, war and freedom and Like A Rolling Stone, a story about a once successful young woman who lost the meaning of life.

In 2016 Dylan received the Nobel Prize for Literature for creating poetic lyrics in his songs. Last December he sold his complete catalog of over 600 songs to Universal Music Publishing for more than 300 million dollars.

Bob Dylan performing at a rock festival in Spain in 2010
Alberto Cabello from Vitoria Gasteiz, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


  • Civil Rights movement = time between the 1950s and 1960s in which African Americans fought for the same rights as white people
  • Grammy = prize given to pop groups and singers
  • influence = the way something changes you
  • inspire = to make someone feel something in a certain way
  • lyrics = the words of a song
  • receive = get
  • spanning = period of time between two dates
  • troublesome = causing problems; difficult times