US songwriter Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for "creating new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

 

The 75-year-old rock legend received the prize "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition". He is the first songwriter to win the prestigious award and the announcement surprised prize watchers.

 

Dylan, who was born as Robert Allen Zimmerman, is 75-years-old and began his career in 1959. Several of the legendary musician's ballads and songs are considered iconic of the American lived experience in the 1960s and 70s. 

 

His songs have also become anthems for civil rights.