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‘Sugar Man’ singer Sixto Rodriguez dies at 81 – DW – 08/09/2023


Singer and songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, who was the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary “Searching for Sugarman,” has died at age 81.

His granddaughter Amanda Kennedy confirmed the artist’s passing on Wednesday and a statement was posted on his website Sugarman.org.

“It is with great sadness that we at Sugarman.org announce that Sixto Diaz Rodriguez has passed away” on Tuesday, the statement read.

Rodriguez’s cause of death was not provided.

‘Searching for Sugar Man’

Rodriguez was born on July 10, 1942 to Mexican-American parents in the US city of Detroit. 

He released two albums in the 1970s: “Cold Fact” and “Coming From Reality,” while he was merely a factory worker. 

Lacking success, Rodriguez ended his music career and lived a quiet life in Detroit. But he had no idea that his music, and in particular “Sugar Man,” had gained a massive following throughout apartheid-era South Africa, as well as New Zealand and Australia. 

His disappearance from the music scene and public life fueled fan beliefs that Rodriguez was dead. Fans tracked him down online and he played a 1998 South African tour to sold-out arenas. 

This story of peculiar success was chronicled in the 2012 documentary “Searching for Sugar Man,” which went on to win an Oscar. 

The documentary also helped bring Rodriguez some belated success at home in US and his music career had a resurgence in his later years of life. 

jcg/wmr (AFP, Reuters, AFP)

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