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Dylan 'the greatest songwriter' Print-ready version

BBC Online
May 23, 2001

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Bob Dylan has been declared the greatest lyricist of all time by BBC News Online users on the eve of his 60th birthday.

The veteran performer, who celebrates his birthday on Thursday, came top of a list of 10 songwriters, taking 32.65% of 7,723 votes in a poll conducted on the site.

John Lennon came second, with 18.83% of the votes, while Bob Marley, who died 20 years ago this month, was favoured by 13.64% of respondents.

Lennon's Beatles colleague Sir Paul McCartney took the backing of 8.47% of users, while Paul Simon followed with 6.73% of votes.

Dylan fans throughout the world are planning events to celebrate the 60th birthday of the singer, famed since the 1960s for songs such as Blowin' In The Wind, The Times They Are A-Changin', Like A Rolling Stone and Subterranean Homesick Blues.

Among them is a concert in Bombay, India, called Thank You Bob, featuring a host of local stars singing covers of Dylan songs.

But a spokesman for him said he has "no public plans" to mark the milestone.

Biographer Howard Sounes told BBC News Online earlier this month that Dylan, who released his first album in 1962, was "the first young singer who wrote serious lyrics about his own life and made them hits".

Full results
Bob Dylan: 32.65%
John Lennon: 18.83%
Bob Marley: 13.64%
Paul McCartney: 8.47%
Paul Simon: 6.73%
Cole Porter: 5.63%
Jim Morrison: 4.44%
Eminem: 3.50%
Joni Mitchell: 3.47%
Irving Berlin: 2.64%

"That's what liberated The Beatles and everyone else since," he said.

But while Dylan is most often associated with the 1960s, the performer himself claims not be interested in that decade. He is enjoying renewed success, most recently with his Oscar-winning song Things Have Changed, from the film Wonder Boys.

"I don't care one bit about the '60s," he told an interviewer in 1997.

This article has been viewed 1,634 times since being added on October 28, 2001.

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