(NewsNation Now) — Regarded as one of the world’s greatest and influential songwriters, Bob Dylan is still going strong as he celebrates his 80th birthday Monday.
Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941. He first entered the public consciousness in New York City’s Greenwich Village folk scene during the early 1960s, eventually selling more than 125 million records globally.
Dylan’s songs have been recorded more than 6,000 times, by various artists from dozens of countries, cultures and music genres, including the Jimi Hendrix version of “All Along The Watchtower” and The Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man,” as well as “Make You Feel My Love”, a chart-topping hit for Adele.
The copyrights for songs spanning Dylan’s 60-year career include such anthems as “Blowin’ In The Wind”, “The Times They Are A-Changin” and “Tangled Up In Blue.”
Dylan’s most recent album “Rough and Rowdy Ways” was released in June 2020. He was touring until the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of dates across the world.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016 “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” — the first songwriter to receive such a distinction. In 2012, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama. Nominated for 38 Grammy Awards over his career, he has ten wins. He won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Things Have Changed” in 2001.
In addition to his music, Dylan is also a visual artist with drawing and painting exhibitions often inspired by the people met and places encountered while touring. There’s also a whiskey collection “Heaven’s Door” named after a song. In honor of his birthday, 100% of profits from each purchase will be distributed to food banks.
In November 2020, a long-lost trove of Bob Dylan documents including the singer-songwriter’s musings about anti-Semitism and unpublished song lyrics has sold at auction for $495,000.
In December 2020, Universal Music Group’s publishing arm bought Dylan’s entire back catalog of more than 600 songs, from towering classics such as 1965’s “Like a Rolling Stone” to last year’s 17-minute epic “Murder Most Foul.” It was a blockbuster deal with an undisclosed price but estimates were in the hundreds of millions.
An upcoming auction in Beverly Hills will feature the handwritten lyrics to Dylan’s 1969 song, “Lay Lady Lay,” written in pencil on a sheet of notepaper from a lumber company. The lyrics carry an estimate of $500,000-600,000 in a two-day auction from June 12-13 that also features a cheeky self-portrait by Kurt Cobain and five guitars designed by the late Eddie Van Halen.
“That’s the most expensive item in the auction in June. It’s with all the hand notations from Bob Dylan, including chord notations,” said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s.