Much of Dylan's most notable work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal documentarian and reluctant figurehead of American unrest. Some of his songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems of the anti-war and civil rights movements. His most recent studio album, Modern Times, released on August 29, 2006, entered the U.S. album charts at #1, making him, at age 65, the oldest living person to top those charts.
Dylan's early lyrics incorporated politics, social commentary, philosophy and literary influences, defying existing pop music conventions and appealing widely to the counterculture of the time. While expanding and personalizing musical styles, he has shown steadfast devotion to many traditions of American song, from folk and country/blues to rock and roll and rockabilly, to English, Scottish and Irish folk music, even jazz, swing, Broadway, and gospel.
Dylan performs with the guitar, keyboard and harmonica. Backed by a changing lineup of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the "Never Ending Tour". He has also performed alongside other major artists, such as Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Jack White, Merle Haggard, Neil Young, Johnny Cash and Eric Clapton. Although his contributions as a performer and recording artist have been central to his career, his songwriting is generally held as his highest accomplishment.
His career accomplishments have been recognized with the Polar Music Prize, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Kennedy Center Honors, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters and Songwriters Hall of Fame. Dylan was listed as one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people of the 20th century. In 2004, Bob Dylan was ranked #2 in Rolling Stone Magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, second to The Beatles. He has also been nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature.