Sixto Rodriguez, subject of "Searching for Sugar Man" documentary, dies
Sixto Rodriguez, an obscure musician in the U.S. who became a mysterious star and voice of protest under South Africa's Apartheid unbeknown to him, has died. He was 81.
- He has been in declining health for years. He died following a short illness, his wife, Konny Rodriguez, 72, told The Associated Press.
- "We extend our most heartfelt condolences to his daughters ― Sandra, Eva and Regan ― and to all his family," the post said
Details: Known simply as Rodriguez, the Mexican American songwriter was the subject of the 2012 Oscar-winning documentary, "Searching for Sugar Man."
- The documentary showed how this unknown singer had been a legend in South Africa for decades among liberal white residents but no one there knew anything about him.
- The film showed how South African fans went on a search for him after Apartheid fell and found him as a construction worker in Detroit who had given up his music dreams years in the 1970s.
- He had no idea he had become an icon in South Africa.
Zoom out: "Searching for Sugar Man" written and directed by Malik Bendjelloul, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2013.
- Rodriguez refused to go to the ceremony to not take away attention from Bendjelloul, who died by suicide the next year.
Between the lines: Rodriguez's folk style and lyrics about poverty and pain won acclaim once he was rediscovered following the film.
- He later went on tour in South Africa and gain notoriety in the U.S. only to give most of his money away while continuing to live modestly in Detroit.