Bob Dylan has certainly cemented his place as one of the greatest and most prolific songwriters of modern music history. From folk revival classics like “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” to the 1974 rock-driven record Blood on the Tracks, the “voice of a generation” has sold over 125 million albums and earned ten Grammys.
While many are familiar with his work—or, at the very least, his name—not all may be up-to-date on Dylan’s health. His aloof demeanor, a trademark of his since the ’60s, exacerbates this mystique even further.
We take a look at Dylan’s wellness, work, and life as of this year.
The Early Days Of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota, took the world by storm as a vanguard of the 1960’s folk revival movement. Whether your mind wanders to his classic 1963 The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan or his rock-driven work of the ’70s and ’80s, we typically associate Dylan with the mid-20th century music scene.
Dylan garnered even more international acclaim with the formation of The Band and The Rolling Thunder Revue, two outfits that toured the world and featured outstanding talents in their own right. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
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, he won a Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition. This was the first time a musician had earned the prestigious award.
Dylan’s Prolific And Varied Career
Throughout his decades-long career, he has undergone countless musical transformations. From duets with Johnny Cash to Christian complications and seemingly everything in between, Dylan’s influences and style have been as turbulent and malleable as the changing times he crooned about in 1964.
However, he boasts a tremendous career in both the arts and otherwise. From 2006 to 2009, Dylan hosted a satellite radio show called Theme Time Radio Hour. He has also published books of his lyrics and art, the latter of which has been featured in many galleries. Dylan has also released literature, including his memoir Chronicles: Volume One and a collection of prose and poetry titled Tarantula.
In 2018, Dylan went into the distilling business with liquor entrepreneur Marc Bushala to create a trio of Heaven’s Door Spirits, including a Tennessee straight bourbon, double barrel whiskey, and straight rye whiskey. To avoid appearing like a vanity project, the Heaven’s Door team kept the brand name subtle and included Dylan’s signature on the bottle’s back, so it’s only visible once the bottle is empty.
Two years later, the singer-songwriter sold his songs to Universal Music Publishing Group. While Dylan still retains exclusive rights to his work, songwriter income, and copyrights, Universal will take in profits from Dylan’s work going forward. The deal included over 600 songs for over $300 million, though some estimated it was closer to $400 million.
How Is Bob Dylan’s Health Today?
Dylan has made a career of being a sullen-eyed, wild-haired vagabond. But how does that translate to the soon-to-be 82-year-old’s health? As of late last year, the songwriter was on his second leg of the Rough and Rowdy Ways World Wide Tour. While the tour is slated to last through 2024, there are currently no upcoming tour dates on his website.
We’re unsure whether this has to do with any health-related issues, although it wouldn’t be the first health scare the singer has experienced. In the 1960s, he was in a serious motorcycle accident before taking time out of the public eye in Woodstock in the ’70s.
In the late ’90s, Dylan went to the hospital for chest pain that 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 several weeks, the histoplasmosis morphed 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, after which Dylan shared, “I’m just glad to be feeling better. I really thought I’d be seeing Elvis soon.
Besides these two incidents, there have been no major credible updates regarding the musician’s health.