Bob Dylan has been named as one of thirteen new recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama. The award is the country’s highest civilian honor.

In a statement the administration praised Dylan as “one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century…his work had considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades.” Medal of Freedom recipients are selected for “meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

When making the announcement the president said, “These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our Nation. They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this award.”

Other honorees include astronaut John Glenn, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and novelist Toni Morrison. The awards will be presented at the White House later this year.

Bob Dylan: One of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century, Dylan released his first album in 1962. Known for his rich and poetic lyrics, his work had considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades. He has won 11 Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award. He was named a Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Art et des Lettres and has received a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation. Dylan was awarded the 2009 National Medal of Arts. He has written more than 600 songs, and his songs have been recorded more than 3,000 times by other artists. He continues recording and touring around the world today.