Even Oscars and Grammys pale in comparison to the globally esteemed Nobel Peace Prize, so it's a huge surprise that Bob Dylan, who on October 13 was announced to have won the literature award for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition," will not be attending the award ceremony in Stockholm.

The Swedish Academy announced on Wednesday, November 16, that the iconic musician and songwriter will be unable to attend due to prior engagements, saying, "He wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments make it unfortunately impossible."

According to the Associated Press, Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, told a Swedish news agency that the organization received a personal letter from the artist which "underlined that he feels extremely honored by the Nobel Prize."

The Academy added that it "respects Bob Dylan's decision," though it is "unusual, but not exceptional" for a recipient not to claim the prize personally. However, Dylan will be expected to hold a Nobel lecture within six months of the award announcement, which is a requirement for all Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Unfortunately, the artist's groundbreaking win did not come without controversy. Dylan is the first musician to receive the prize for literature, an unprecedented achievement which has sparked conversation both in the media and among scholars regarding the definition of literature and whether songwriting is applicable, according to The New York Times.

The Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony takes place December 10.

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