The musician Sixto Rodriguez (1942-2023) is dead. "It is with great sadness that we announce [...] that Sixto Diaz Rodriguez passed away today," says the American's website.
Condolences are expressed to his daughters Sandra, Eva and Regan and the entire family at "sugarman.org": "May his dear soul rest in peace." As reported on the website several months ago, Rodriguez suffered a stroke earlier this year and required surgery.
The singer-songwriter was born in Detroit in 1942 as the son of Mexican immigrants. After his albums "Cold Fact" and "Coming from Reality" were not particularly successful commercially, Rodriguez initially withdrew from the music world in the early 1970s.
Internationally, however, he gained notoriety in Australia, among other places, where he toured for the first time in 1979. The 2012 Oscar-winning documentary "Searching for Sugar Man" follows the search for Rodriguez, who for a long time was unaware that he was a star, especially in South Africa.
Johannesburg-born Dave Matthews (56) also covered Rodriguez's song "Sugar Man". For him, the singer-songwriter was not only a hero in his youth, but also as important as Bob Dylan (82), Cat Stevens (75) or Marvin Gaye (1939-1984), he said according to "Billboard" last year Year.
As the industry magazine "Variety" reports, there have been rumors in South Africa for years that Rodriguez is dead. In 1997, however, a journalist discovered that the musician was still alive and living in Detroit. The singer-songwriter then traveled to South Africa for the first time to go on tour. "Thank you for keeping me alive," he said at one of the concerts.