Sixto Rodriguez, a little-known musician from the 1970s whose music experienced a revival decades later as a result of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 81.

Rodriguez’s death was announced Wednesday on his official website. “It is with great sadness that we at announce that Sixto Diaz Rodriguez has passed away earlier today,” the statement read. No cause of death was provided, but Rodriguez reportedly dealt with health issues in recent years.

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Rodriguez, a rocker from Detroit who moonlighted as a musician while working on Motor City assembly lines, released two albums in the early 1970s called Cold Fact and Coming From Reality, but neither did very well in the United States, and Rodriguez’s music fell out of favour.

Net Worth

Sixto Rodriguez is an American folk musician who has a net worth of $5 million


Rodriguez was 81 years old at the time of his death.


Sixto Rodriguez was married to Konny Rodriguez for nearly 40 years. The pair tied the knot in 1984 and were together up until his 2023 passing.


Rodriguez has three daughters – Sandra, Eva and Regan.


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. He was rumored to have died by suicide on stage, further cementing his mystique.

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Decades later, the documentary film “Searching for Sugar Man” (2012) brought Rodriguez’s story to the forefront. The film chronicled the efforts of two South African fans to uncover the truth behind his disappearance and eventual fate. The documentary led to a resurgence of interest in Rodriguez’s music, and he finally gained the recognition he deserved.

Following the documentary’s release, Rodriguez’s albums were reissued, and he embarked on successful international tours. His signature song, “Sugar Man,” became an iconic track and introduced a new generation to his music. Rodriguez’s lyrics, often introspective and socially relevant, resonated with audiences across cultures and ages.

The unexpected revival of Rodriguez’s career also led to him receiving awards and honors, including a Grammy nomination. His journey from relative obscurity to a globally recognized and celebrated musician stands as a testament to the enduring power of music and the impact of storytelling.