On December 10, Bob Dylan, the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, was unable to attend the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony. In his place, Dylan's dear friend Patti Smith made an appearance at the event in Stockholm, and honored the songwriter by performing a rendition of “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” Accompanied by the Philharmonic, Smith delivered Dylan's lyrics tenderly and at one point got so overwhelmed by emotion she couldn't remember or recite the words. “I’m sorry, I’m so nervous,” Smith confessed to the audience. Watch above.
Dylan also prepared a speech to be given at the ceremony in his name, which was read by United States Ambassador to Sweden Azita Raji. "I'm sorry I can't be with you in person, but please know that I am most definitely with you in spirit and honored to be receiving such a prestigious prize," Dylan begins. "Being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature is something I never could have imagined or seen coming." The songwriter then begins to express the immense honor he feels to join the "giants of literature: Kipling, Shaw, Thomas Mann, Pearl Buck, Albert Camus, Hemingway" that were also awarded the prize. Read the entire speech here.
When the Swedish Academy chose Bob Dylan as the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in October, the songwriter ghosted them for weeks until finally acknowledging the award. Finally in November, Dylan confirmed that he would not be able to appear at the event due to "pre-existing commitments."
Thumbnail Image Credit: Christopher Polk for Getty Images.