In a choice that surprised many, the Swedish Academy named singer and songwriter Bob Dylan the recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature. Dylan has been writing songs for more than 50 years. He began his career as a folk singer, but he later branched out into many styles of music. His dozens of albums have shaped the music industry in the United States and around the world. Other winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature have written songs and lyrics, but Dylan is the first prizewinner to be primarily a songwriter. He is also the first American to receive this prize since Toni Morrison won in 1993.