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Patti Smith Will Sing “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” in Bob Dylan’s Honor at the Nobel Prize Ceremony

Patti Smith.

Dylan Martinez/Reuters

He may not be showing up, but Bob Dylan’s presence will certainly be felt at the Nobel Prize ceremony and banquet on Dec. 10. The musical icon, who was named the Nobel Laureate in Literature back in October, has written a “speech of thanks” that will be read by an as-yet-unannounced person, according to the Associated Press. The news comes after Dylan—following a month of silence and confusion—confirmed that he would not be attending the ceremony himself due to “pre-existing commitments.”

Attendees of the event will also get a taste of Dylan’s music, if only from a different voice. It was confirmed via Facebook that the legendary Patti Smith will be performing Dylan’s 1962 protest song “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” earlier in the day, using an arrangement by Swedish conductor Hans Ek. Smith briefly toured with Dylan in 1995, and her poetic and activist sensibilities—while hardly substitutes for the man himself—should make for a welcome addition to the ceremony dedicated to honoring him.

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