After abandoning his musical career after not being successful in the US, Sixto Rodriguez resumed it with popularity after the documentary that showed how his songs about the most disadvantaged had become, without his knowledge, messages against segregation in South Africa in the ‘ apartheid’
The American singer-songwriter of Mexican origin Sixto Rodríguez, whose life was portrayed in the Oscar-winning documentary “Searching For Sugar Man” (2012), died Tuesday at the age of 81, his official website reported.
“It is with great sadness that we at Sugarman.org announce that Sixto Díaz Rodríguez passed away today. We extend our deepest condolences to his daughters -Sandra, Eva and Regan- and to his entire family. Rodríguez was 81 years old. May his dear soul rest in peace,” said a statement.
The message adds an epitaph that reads “Perhaps today I will slip away”, along with the date of Rodríguez’s birth and death (July 10, 1942 – August 8, 2023).
The incredible story of Sixto Rodríguez, whose musical career went unnoticed in the United States but unknowingly became a star in anti-apartheid South Africa, was portrayed in the hit documentary “Searching For Sugar Man.”
Rodríguez, born in Detroit and of Mexican parents, published two rock albums, “Cold Fact” (1970) and “Coming From Reality” (1971), but he abandoned his artistic career very soon, as he failed to sell many records.
But unknown to him, his songs about the problems of poverty and the underprivileged became part of the message of the fight against racial segregation in South Africa.
This curious story caught the attention of the Swedish Malik Bendjelloul, who directed “Searching for Sugar Man”, which in addition to winning the Oscar for best documentary, won the audience prize and the jury prize at the Sundance festival.
Following the popularity of the documentary, Australia’s Blue Goose Music label bought his song catalog and released both albums, and a new best-of-both compilation titled “At His Best,” reviving the artist’s career 40 years later.
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