Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan will not attend the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, to officially receive his award. The Swedish Academy, which confers the honour, confirmed this through a post on its website on Wednesday. The Academy said Dylan had written them a letter saying he had “pre-existing commitments”, but that it was an honour and he wished he could have been there.

“The prize still belongs to Bob Dylan,” the Academy said. “That laureates decide not to come is unusual, to be sure, but not exceptional…several laureates have, for various reasons, been unable to come to Stockholm to receive the prize, among them Doris Lessing, Harold Pinter, and Elfriede Jelinek.” The musician is, however, required to give a Nobel Lecture within six months.

Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature on October 13. The jury selected him “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. Dylan’s writing and lyrics have often incorporated political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. The choice received a mixed response, with some hailing the Academy for its unconventional choice and others arguing that songwriting is not literature.