Patti Smith has apologised for forgetting the words to Bob Dylan’s song A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall during the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm on Saturday.
The American singer-songwriter told the audience she was “so nervous” after stumbling during the performance.
Smith was singing to mark Dylan’s Nobel Prize for literature, although the winner was unable to attend the ceremony himself.
Smith was applauded by the audience after she apologised for the stumble and asked for the orchestra to start again.
“I apologise. I’m sorry, I’m so nervous,” Smith said.
In October Dylan said he was left “speechless” after learning he had become the first musician to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Responding to the international criticism of awarding the honour to the musician, the Swedish Academy’s Horace Engdahl told the audience: “By means of his oeuvre, Bob Dylan has changed our idea of what poetry can be and how it can work,” Engdahl said.
“If people in the literary world groan, one must remind them that the gods don’t write, they dance and they sing,” Rolling Stone Magazine reports.
Engdahl said the academy’s choice of Dylan “seemed daring only beforehand and already seems obvious”.
Dylan, 75, was awarded the prestigious accolade earlier this year for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Dylan said being awarded the prize was “hard to believe”, adding it was “amazing, incredible.”
“Whoever dreams about something like that?”
Dylan became the first American to win the literature prize since Beloved author Toni Morrison in 1993.
His win was praised by literary figures and critics, with a leading academic hailing him as the Tennyson of our times.
Professor Seamus Perry, chairman of the English Faculty at Oxford University, described Dylan as “one of the greats”, saying: “He is, more than any other, the poet of our times, as Tennyson was of his, representative and yet wholly individual, humane, angry, funny, and tender by turn.”
In 2008, the singer-songwriter won the Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to music and American culture.