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Bob Dylan won’t attend Nobel Prize ceremony in Sweden

Bob Dylan, the influential but notoriously media-shy singer-songwriter, won’t travel to Stockholm next month to receive his 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature because of prior commitments, the Swedish Academy has announced.

The academy said it was told by Dylan that “he wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments make it unfortunately impossible.”

Dylan, currently on tour in the U.S., has concert dates scheduled through Nov. 23.

The American popular music and culture icon was revealed last month as the surprising, polarizing winner of the Nobel.

He was credited for creating “new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” and the win marked the first time the prestigious honour has been awarded to someone known primarily as a musician.

However, despite repeated attempts by organizers to contact him after his naming on Oct. 13, the 75-year-old remained silent but eventually contacted the academy. 

“The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless,” Dylan told Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, according to a statement on the Nobel Foundation’s website.

“I appreciate the honour so much.”

At the time, the Nobel Foundation also noted it was up to Dylan to determine whether to attend the Dec. 10 ceremony.