STOCKHOLM (AP) -

Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday, a stunning announcement that for the first time bestowed the prestigious award on a musician for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Reporters and others who gathered at the Swedish Academy's headquarters in Stockholm's Old Town reacted with a loud cheer as his name was read out.

British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, often mentioned as a possible Nobel literature prize contender, has lauded the choice to honor singer-songwriter Bob Dylan with this year's award.“From Orpheus to Faiz, song & poetry have been closely linked. Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition. Great choice,'' Rushdie tweeted.

Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh reacted angrily to the awarding of the Nobel Prize for literature to Bob Dylan, embarking on a series of exchanges on Twitter. “I'm a Dylan fan, but this is an ill-conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies,” the “Trainspotting”' author wrote.

He continued: “If you're a `music' fan, look it up in the dictionary. Then `literature'. Then compare and contrast.”

He also begged to know if writer Don De Lillo had been inducted into the Rock `n' Roll hall of fame yet.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet was one of the first to congratulate Bob Dylan on being awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. “What a joy that Bob Dylan got the Nobel for literature. Many fond memories from my adolescence are associated with his music,'” she tweeted.