As Bob Dylan's birthday falls on Thursday, May 24, the American singer-songwriter has officially turned 71.

Bob Dylan has been described as being many different things over the span of his career - musician, artist, activist and poet being among the most popular.

But while Dylan's music incorporates a variety of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, it's his evolution as an artist that music fans remember him most by.

Dylan's physical and musical style defied anything that was relevant to pop music in the 60s and 70s, but both still managed to gain the attention of the burgeoning counterculture.

Taking notes from already established musicians such as Woody Guthrie,  Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, as well as Buddy Holly and Little Richard, Bob Dylan compiled a 50 year catalogue of music that explored more genres than any other artist.

From folk, blues and country to gospel, rock and roll, rockabilly, and even embracing even jazz and swing, Bob Dylan is the true definition of a working musician.

Transcending the lines of music, Dylan has become a well-respected figure in the art community as well having published three books of drawings and paintings with work exhibited in major art galleries all over the world.

As a songwriter and musician, Dylan has received numerous awards over the years including Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards.

He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2008 awarded him a special citation for his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power. In April 2012, President Barack Obama named Dylan as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Click Start to check out some photos of Bob Dylan throughout his amazing career.