Dylan makes history with induction into Academy of Arts and Letters


Hibbing native Bob Dylan has officially been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters -- a first for a musician, Rolling Stone reports.

Dylan -- who was unable to attend the ceremony in New York Wednesday -- said in a letter to the organization, "I feel extremely honored and very lucky to be included in this pantheon of great individual artists who comprise the Academy of Arts and Letters … I look forward to meeting you all sometime soon."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was voted into the Academy in March as an honorary member since officials couldn't decide to recognize him for songwriting or music. Other honorary members of the elite 250-member organization include actress Meryl Streep and filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen.

The Academy citation to Dylan read: "For more than 50 years, defying categorization in a culture beguiled by categories, Bob Dylan has probed and prodded our psyches, recording and then changing our world and our lives through poetry made manifest in song – creating relationships that we never imagined could exist between words, emotions and ideas."

The keynote address for the ceremony -- titled "Rock & Roll" -- was given by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon.

According to The Associated Press, Chabon made an embarrassing admission about being obsessed with the opening line of Dylan's song "Chimes of Freedom," where he thought the musician sang about "midnight’s broken toe" not toll.

"How many hours I had devoted to (the idea) ... that midnight had toes, and that one of them, the big one, had been broken," Chabon recalled.

Dylan, 71, will be returning to Minnesota for a July 11 concert at Midway Stadium in St. Paul as part of his “AmericanaramA” tour.

The Midway gig will also feature Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Richard Thompson.

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