Bob Dylan’s mind, it’s a-changin’.
The music legend has backed out of an appearance at the Swedish Academy’s Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm next month, where he was to receive the award for literature.
The Academy announced the news on its Nobel Prize website Wednesday, stating it had received a letter from Dylan, 75, with the explanation he could not attend due to “pre-existing commitments.”
“That laureates decide not to come is unusual, to be sure, but not exceptional,” the Academy’s statement read.
Previous prizewinners to miss the ceremony have included British playwright Harold Pinter, British writer Doris Lessing and Austrian novelist Elfriede Jelinek.
“The prize still belongs to them, just as it belongs to Bob Dylan,” the statement noted.
But Bob still has one requirement to ensure his prize: he must give a lecture.
“We look forward to Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture, which he must give,” the Academy said, adding it has to be delivered within six months of Dec. 10.
At first it appeared the songwriter was snubbing the award after his prolonged silence following the Oct. 13 announcement. But in an interview with London’s Telegraph published Oct. 29, he told the newspaper he “absolutely” intended to attend the ceremony, “if it’s at all possible.” Though it seems he’s thought twice.