This happened some time ago, but would appear to deserve some commentary, as I am a big fan of the singer and his songs: ‘President Barack Obama awarded the great Bob Dylan the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award at a ceremony at the White House’.
On the White House website this explanation can be read: ‘The Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially 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’.[i] And this year, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barrack Obama awarded these prestigious tokens of appreciation to many outstanding individuals, including the protest singer of protest singers, Bob Dylan or Mister Robert Zimmermann. In addition, ‘President Obama honored . . . former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Israeli President Shimon Peres, author Toni Morrison, civil rights campaigner and National Farm Workers Association co-founder Dolores Huerta and astronaut John Glenn’.
President Obama said that “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music”, [and that Dylan with the] “unique gravel-y power” of his voice helped redefine “not just what music sounded like, but the message it carried and how it made people feel”. Never a truer word was spoken . . .
 Bob Dylan Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom” Rolling Stone (29 May 2012). http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/bob-dylan-awarded-presidential-medal-of-freedom-20120529
 “Bob Dylan Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom”.