In 1965, he controversially abandoned his early fan-base in the American folk music revival, recording a six-minute single, "Like a Rolling Stone", which enlarged the scope of popular music.Dylan's lyrics incorporate a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences.
From February 1961, Dylan played at clubs around Greenwich Village, befriending and picking up material from folk singers there, including Dave Van Ronk, Fred Neil, Odetta, the New Lost City Ramblers and Irish musicians the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.
New York Times critic Robert Shelton first noted Dylan in a review of Izzy Young's production for WRVR of a live twelve-hour Hootenanny on July 29, 1961: "Among the newer promising talents deserving mention are a 20-year-old latter-day Guthrie disciple named Bob Dylan, with a curiously arresting mumbling, country-steeped manner". Tension between Grossman and John Hammond led to Hammond suggesting that Dylan work with the young African-American jazz producer, Tom Wilson, who produced several tracks for the second album without formal credit.
Following his self-titled debut album in 1962, which mainly consisted of traditional folk songs, Dylan made his breakthrough as a songwriter with the release of the 1963 album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, featuring "Blowin’ in the Wind" and the thematically complex composition "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall," alongside several other enduring songs of the era.
Dylan went on to release the politically charged The Times They Are a-Changin' and the more lyrically abstract and introspective Another Side of Bob Dylan in 1964.
Since 1994, Dylan has published seven books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries.
Dylan has sold more than 100 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Backed by a changing lineup of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed "the Never Ending Tour".
His accomplishments as a recording artist and performer have been central to his career, but his songwriting is considered his greatest contribution.
They defied existing pop-music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture.
Initially inspired by the performances of Little Richard and the songwriting of Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, Dylan has amplified and personalized musical genres.
Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, and painter who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades.