Sixto Rodriguez has died at 81. Rodriguez’s death was first confirmed in a statement posted on his official website,

On July 10, 1942, Sixto Rodriguez—better known by his stage name, Rodriguez—was born in Detroit, Michigan. He became a well-known singer and songwriter.

He started his career in the late 1960s and enjoyed great success abroad, but American viewers weren’t introduced to him until the 2012 Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man.

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Malik Bendjelloul, who also wrote and directed the documentary, traced Rodriguez’s development from a little-known musician to a global superstar.

Sixto Rodriguez was a Mexican-American musician and songwriter whose career took an unexpected turn with a resurgence of popularity years after his initial recordings. Rodriguez initially gained attention in the late 1960s and early 1970s for his folk and protest songs. However, it wasn’t until the 21st century that he achieved international acclaim.

Rodriguez released his debut album “Cold Fact” in 1970, followed by “Coming from Reality” in 1971. Despite receiving critical acclaim, both albums were commercial failures in the United States. Rodriguez’s music, characterized by poetic lyrics and socially conscious themes, showcased his unique blend of folk, rock, and soul influences.

Unbeknownst to Rodriguez, his music gained a substantial following in South Africa, where his albums struck a chord with anti-apartheid activists. Despite his obscurity in his home country, Rodriguez’s music became an anthem for a generation seeking change in South Africa.

Who is Konny Rodriguez?

Sixto Rodriguez was married to Konny Rodriguez for nearly 40 years.

The pair tied the knot in 1984.

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They have a daughter together called Regan.

He had two daughters, Eva and Sandra, with his first wife, Rayma Rodriguez, before he wed Konny.

The couple met in 1972 while both were students at Wayne State University in Detroit and married in the early 1980s. Although still married at the time of his death, the couple had been separated for a number of years.