The American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2007 Principe de Asturias Prize for the Arts. Bob Dylan has been chosen above other nominees which included the Portuguese pianist Maria Joao Pires, the architects Frank Gerhy and Rafael Moneo and the British musician Andrew Lloyd Weber.
The jury for the Principe de Asturias Prize for the Arts who also awarded a prize for International Cooperation to Al Gore the ex US Vice-President is presided over by José Lladó , the former Spanish Trade Minister.
Pedro Almodovar was the last person to be awarded this prize. Other past winners include Woody Allen, Miquel Barceló and Paco de Lucía.
In total there are 8 Principe de Asturias prizes awarded annually. Prince Felipe usually presents the awards in person at a ceremony in Oviedo, the capital of Asturias. Each prize consists of a statue designed by Joan Miró and 50,000 euros.
According to the Principe de Asturias jury Bob Dylan, who first performed in Spain in 1984 in the Rayo Vallencano stadium, is a ‘living myth in the history of popular music and a light for a generation that dreamed of changing the world’.
Carmen Calvo, the Spanish Culture Minister, considers the American singer to be a ‘guru for various generations throughout the world’. Gay Mercader, a music promoter, said of Dylan that ‘he was the first to give weight to popular music and his influence on his peers is enormous’.