Bob Dylan has become the first rock star voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the century-old arts organization announced Tuesday.
The iconic singer-songwriter was one of seven named for induction into the group, which honors artists in music, literature and visual arts.
Voted into the academy's core membership were the novelist Ward Just, known for his stories set in Washington, D.C.; minimalist artist Richard Tuttle and painter and printmaker Terry Winters. The academy announced three honorary choices, all from overseas: Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, South African writer Damon Galgut and Belgian artist Luc Tuymans.
Academy officials couldn't decide whether Dylan belonged for his words or his music, executive director Virginia Dajani told the Associated Press, so they settled on making him an honorary member.
"The board of directors considered the diversity of his work and acknowledged his iconic place in the American culture," Dajani said.