On Saturday, this year’s Nobel laureates accepted their prizes in Stockholm, Sweden.

At the ceremony, the nine laureates who showed up received their prizes from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Bob Dylan, who won the Literature prize, is the first songwriter to win a Nobel Prize. He did not appear at the ceremony.

“Pre-existing commitments” is the reason the singer gave in a letter to the Nobel Academy organization. Nevertheless, his letter said Dylan “feels very honored” and wished he could be there in person.


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US Ambassador Gives Speech In Dylan’s Place

In Dylan’s absence, Azita Raji, the U.S. ambassador to Sweden, delivered a speech from Dylan at the Nobel banquet, according to the website of the Nobel Prize. Singer Patti Smith accepted the award, but memorably forgot her lines while performing afterward.

“From an early age, I’ve been familiar with and reading and absorbing the works of those who were deemed worthy of such a distinction: Kipling, Shaw, Mann, Camus, Hemingway,” the speech said.

“These giants of literature whose works are taught in the schoolroom, housed in libraries around the world and spoken of in reverent tones have always made a deep impression. That I now join the names on such a list is truly beyond words.”

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