BORN: May 24, 1941, Duluth, Minnesota
IDENTIFICATION: Songwriter and performer of the late twentieth century whose lyrics and concerts revolutionized rock music in the early 1960s and whose lyrics continue to inform, influence, and move listeners of all ages.
Bob Dylan almost single-handedly changed rock and roll music, which until his arrival had been only a form of entertainment and a vehicle for teenage rebellion, into an art form that could address almost any individual emotional state or social problem. Dylans impact as a social and moral critic who shaped the views of others may be even more important than his musical contributions. Although Dylan disavowed a leadership role, his attitudes and opinions influenced millions. Even after the period of his greatest influence on the musical and political scene passed with the 1960s, he remained a benchmark against which others measured themselves and a continuing source of new music and ideas.