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'Nervous' Patti Smith falters over Nobel tribute to Dylan

Singer Patti Smith needed two attempts to get through Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm on Saturday.

The 69-year-old American singer-songwriter forgot the lyrics in the second verse and had to pause to regain her composure.

"I apologise. I'm sorry, I'm so nervous," Smith said, asking the orchestra to start over.

The audience in Stockholm's Concert Hall, many dressed in formal attire, clapped to support Smith as she tried anew.

She appeared to draw a blank again in the third verse, but only briefly, and then finished the song.

Her performance was given to mark Dylan's Nobel prize for literature. His failure to attend the gathering in Stockholm meant that Smith, most famous for her 1975 album, Horses, and the hit song Because the Night, was attending as his proxy.

The award, announced in October, was the first to be given to a songwriter. Dylan took two weeks to publicly acknowledge the award - which comes with prize money of 870,000 US dollars (£734,000) - leading to one member calling him "impolite and arrogant".

Dylan, 75, wrote to the academy last month to say he had been left "speechless" by the honour, but that other commitments had made it "unfortunately impossible" for him to attend the ceremony.

AP

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