"The times they are a changin'," Bob Dylan sang in 1964, a lyric that some believe may have been a prediction for 2016, the year when the American songwriter won the Nobel Prize for literature.

On Thursday, following the announcement of the Prize, the Swedish Academy said the 75-year-old had "created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

Dylan will receive 8 million Swedish krona ($930,000) as a reward.

On Twitter, social media users were divided about whether Dylan was in fact the first musician to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In 1913, Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel for "his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West".

Dylan, whose original name is Robert Allen Zimmerman, is a musical giant, loved for his often political songs. Most notably, the songs Blowin' in the Wind, Masters of War, A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall, attained cult status with the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Novelist Toni Morrison was the last American to win the Nobel Prize for literature back in 1993.

In a biographical note, accompanying the announcement, the Swedish Academy said:

"Dylan has recorded a large number of albums revolving around topics like the social conditions of man, religion, politics and love. The lyrics have continuously been published in new editions, under the title Lyrics. As an artist, he is strikingly versatile; he has been active as painter, actor and scriptwriter."

The award will be presented alongside this year's other five Nobel Prizes, for medicine, physics, chemistry, peace and economics, on December 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel's death.

Dylan's fans celebrated his win, as well as the fact that song-writing now indisputably qualified as literature.

Some began campaigns for their own musical favourites, to receive a Nobel in the future, while others cracked jokes.

Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen's recent statement on being ready for death was also used as an occasion for some dark humour.