Bob Dylan has received America's highest civilian honour from President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday.
Author Toni Morrison, astronaut John Glenn and Israeli President Shimon Peres were also among the Medal of Freedom recipients.
Dylan's songs such as Blowin' In The Wind and The Times They Are a-Changin' became anthems of the anti-war and civil rights movements.
He continues to record and tour, and recently signed a publishing deal for six books.
Morrison is the author of novels such as Song Of Solomon and Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.
Madeleine Albright, who was US Secretary of State from 1997 - 2001 and the first woman to hold that post, was also honoured.
The award is given to people from all walks of life who have made exceptional contributions to society.
It was established by former President John F Kennedy in 1963.
Previous recipients include Mother Teresa, Margaret Thatcher, Stephen Hawking, Walt Disney, Doris Day, Duke Ellington and Aretha Franklin.