Bob Dylan is one of the greatest songwriters who has ever lived. With beloved songs like “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Blowin’ in the Wind,” he sold over 125 million albums and earned 10 Grammys.
While many are familiar with his name and his work, some may not be up-to-date on Dylan’s health. Several, without a doubt, are surely lost, when it comes to how old Dylan is. In fact, with a career that started in the ’60s, a few may even be wondering if Dylan is still alive. Below is an update on his work, wellness, and life.
Bob Dylan Was Born In 1941
Dylan entered the world on May 24, 1941, and his birth name is actually Robert Allen Zimmerman. He grew up in Minnesota, was in bands while in high school, and eventually started going by the name fans know today, after he started pursuing higher education in Minneapolis.
However, due to his love of music, Dylan dropped out of college and moved to New York in 1961. During that time, he took gigs in Greenwich Village, and not even a year later, he signed a contract with Columbia Records.
Details of Dylan’s personal life include that he has been married twice: to Sara Lownds, between 1965 and 1977, and to Carolyn Dennis, between 1986 and 1992, and he has six children. This singer and songwriter is still alive, as he will celebrate his 81st birthday on May 24, 2022.
Bob Dylan’s Incredible Career
When it comes to Dylan’s career, many think of his focus on folk and blues music, but in 1965, for instance, his music transitioned to the rock and roll genre, with the addition of an electric guitar. At the end of the decade, he even took a break from his career, as he resided in Woodstock. There, he would create art, as well as play traditional ballads with a group that was called The Band. Of course, Dylan returned to performing, and this time, he took the country music route, as he and Johnny Cash wrote “Wanted Man.”
In 1975, Dylan was part of a unique tour; he was in a traveling circus of sorts, which was called The Rolling Thunder Revue and which included other notable members such as Allen Ginsberg and Joni Mitchell. The ‘70s also saw Dylan venture into gospel music, as he got baptized after his divorce.
As mentioned, Dylan’s career has also included an array of awards and accolades, including three very notable ones. In 1988, he became part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In 2012, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama, who said “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music.” Then, in 2016, a Nobel Prize in Literature came along “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” This was the first time a musician had earned the prestigious award.
Is He Still Performing Today?
Outside of singing, Dylan had a show on satellite radio, which was called Theme Time Radio Hour and which was on between 2006 and 2009. He has also published books of his lyrics and of art (since he is also an artist who has been featured in galleries), as well as the memoir Chronicles: Volume One and a collection of prose and poetry titled Tarantula.
Then, in 2020, the singer-songwriter sold his songs to Universal Music Publishing Group. This meant that he would still have complete rights to his work, his songwriter income, and the copyrights, while, going forward, Universal would take in the money the songs made. Overall, this deal was made up of more than 600 songs for over $300 million, though some estimated it was more like $400 million. More news came in January 2022, when Dylan’s past and future music went to Sony Music.
And throughout it all, he has continued to make music. In all, Dylan has released 39 studio albums, including Rough and Rowdy Ways from 2020.
Bob Dylan’s Health
Since Dylan has reached his 80s but is still making music, how is his health?
Well, in the late ’90s, he had quite the scare. He ended up in the hospital with chest pain, and it turned out to be histoplasmosis, an infection from fungus. According to Express.co.uk, his agent, Barry Dickins, gave an update, saying, “The infection is potentially fatal. He will remain at the hospital until his condition is stable and he has improved.”
After a few weeks, another update came, as the histoplasmosis turned into pericarditis, which causes the tissue around the heart to swell and become painful. Doctors told him he would be better in a month or so, and Dylan shared, as reported by Express.co.uk, “I’m just glad to be feeling better. I really thought I’d be seeing Elvis soon.”
There was also a motorcycle accident in the late ‘60s, when Dylan was reportedly riding and couldn’t see, due to the sun. The back wheel of his Triumph 650 Bonneville locked up, and the performer went flying over the top of the bike. Not much else is known, though, and the police didn’t even file a report. Dylan was spotted in a neck brace, but he just continued to live out his quiet life at Woodstock for a while.
Besides these two incidents, there haven’t been any other major updates, when it comes to Dylan’s wellness. Hopefully, he is doing well and will continue to entertain fans with his amazing talents.