Courtesy of F. Antolín Hernandez

Bob Dylan b. 1941

"Bob Dylan is the uncontested poet laureate of the rock and roll era and the preeminent singer/songwriter of modern times," according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Much of Dylan's most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" chronicled American unrest. Dylan's lyrical compositions defied existing pop-music conventions and explored American song traditions, including folk, blues, and gospel. In 2008, Dylan received a Special Citation by the Pulitzer Prize jury, making him the first popular musician to receive the honor. The Pulitzer committee recognized his "profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."