Sixto Rodriguez

Sixto Diaz Rodriguez Biography

Full Name Sixto Rodriguez
Age 82 Years old.
Birth Name Sixto Diaz Rodriguez
Birth Date 1942-07-10
Gender Male

Sixto Rodriguez was an American singer-songwriter. He was best known for resounding success in regions such as South Africa, Australia (where he toured twice), and New Zealand. Rodriguez, hailing from Detroit, Michigan, initially experienced limited recognition in the United States. Unbeknownst to him, his music held remarkable popularity in South Africa, even surpassing sales of Elvis Presley records. Despite sparse information, there were misconceptions about his fate, including rumors of his suicide following his second album's release. In the 1990s, dedicated South African fans managed to locate and reconnect with Rodriguez, sparking an unexpected resurgence in his musical career, a narrative beautifully portrayed in the Academy Award-winning documentary "Searching for Sugar Man" (2012), which propelled him to newfound fame in his homeland. Rodriguez resided in Detroit's Woodbridge neighborhood, featured in the documentary, leading a simple life devoid of a telephone and occasionally performing live concerts at local bars like the Old Miami pub. A Detroit-based folk musician, he gained recognition posthumously, largely due to the documentary, despite his earlier low album sales, with his influence and popularity particularly evident in South Africa. Notably, the moniker "Sixto" was attributed to him as the sixth child born in his family. Rodriguez died on August 8, 2023, at the age of 81. 

Nationality American
Religion Christian
Horoscope Cancer

Sixto Rodriguez: Family Origins and Upbringing

Born on July 10, 1942, in Detroit, Michigan, USA, Sixto Rodriguez bore the birth name Sixto Diaz Rodriguez. With a rich ethnic heritage, he held American nationality and embraced a mixed background ethnicity. As of 2023, he celebrated his 81st birthday for the last time. He was born as the sixth child of hardworking Mexican immigrant parents, christened "Sixto" due to his position as their sixth son. His father's migration from Mexico in the 1920s and his Native American mother mirrored the larger wave of Mexican immigrants who sought opportunities in Detroit's industries, despite facing profound alienation and marginalization at the time. Rodriguez's poignant songwriting often took a political stance, addressing the challenges endured by the inner city's impoverished population. In May 2013, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from his alma mater, Wayne State University, in Detroit.

Birth Nation USA
Place Of Birth Detroit, Michigan
Ethnicity Mixed
Father Ramon Rodriguez
Mother Maria Rodriguez

Sixto Rodriguez was an American Musician

Sixto Rodriguez Music Career

  • In 1967, under the name "Rod Riguez," Sixto released a single "I'll Slip Away," followed by three years of no recording.
  • Signing with Sussex Records, he became "Rodriguez" and produced albums Cold Fact (1970) and Coming from Reality (1971), both selling poorly in the U.S. Sussex Records closed in 1975, leaving his third album unreleased. 
  • Rodriguez then abandoned music, buying a dilapidated Detroit house in 1976 and working low-income jobs. 
  • Despite this, he remained politically active and ran for public office several times. 
  • In 2013, discussions with his album's producer sparked interest in new music, and he revealed plans to share new songs.
  • Despite his initial obscurity in his home country, Sixto Rodriguez's albums gained significant airplay in several countries, including Australia, Botswana, New Zealand, Rhodesia, and South Africa, during the mid-1970s. 
  • Australian label Blue Goose Music acquired the rights to his recordings after the Sussex album copies were sold out, releasing his studio albums and a compilation album titled "At His Best," which achieved platinum status in South Africa. 
  • His music, often compared to contemporaries like Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens, carried anti-establishment themes that resonated with the anti-apartheid protest culture in South Africa. 
  • Despite his success abroad, Rodriguez's fame in South Africa remained unknown to him until 1997 when his daughter discovered a fan website. 
  • This newfound recognition led to his South African tour, documented in the film "Dead Men Don't Tour: Rodriguez in South Africa 1998." 
  • His signature song "Sugar Man" gained international attention through covers, samples, and film placements, while he continued to tour and re-released albums in later years.
  • His song "Sugar Man" was featured in the 2006 film Candy, starring Heath Ledger. 
  • His albums Cold Fact and Coming from Reality were re-released by Light in the Attic Records in 2009. 
  • The documentary film "Searching for Sugar Man," premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, directed by Malik Bendjelloul, followed the efforts of two South African fans seeking the truth behind the rumored death of singer Sixto Rodriguez and his subsequent disappearance. 
  • Produced by Simon Chinn and John Battsek, the documentary earned accolades including the World Cinema Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award, World Cinema Documentary at Sundance. 
  • It screened at various film festivals, won awards, and opened in New York and Los Angeles before garnering further recognition, including the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary and the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2013. 
  • The film's soundtrack, released in 2012, featured a compilation of Rodriguez's tracks, along with unreleased songs from his unfinished album, and aimed to address concerns about his past record label dealings. 
  • Rodriguez's humility was evident as he declined to attend the Academy Awards ceremony, focusing instead on celebrating the filmmakers' achievement, a sentiment echoed by the film's director and producer during their acceptance speeches.
  • Following the release of the documentary "Searching for Sugar Man" in 2012, Rodriguez saw a surge of media attention and fan interest in both the United States and Europe. 
  • Notable appearances included performances on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where he sang "Crucify Your Mind" and "Can't Get Away," respectively. 
  • Media coverage continued with features on CNN, including an interview discussing his career resurgence, as well as appearances on 60 Minutes and The Andrew Marr Show. 
  • Rodriguez's potential royalties dispute, hinted at in the documentary, led to legal complexities and a lawsuit filed in 2013, ultimately settled in 2015. 
  • His tour schedule expanded to include high-profile concerts in the U.S., Europe, and festivals such as Glastonbury and the Montreux Jazz Festival, further amplified by the Dave Matthews Band's cover of "Sugar Man" during their summer tour, highlighting his renewed prominence.
  • In 2015, Craig Bartholomew Strydom and Stephen "Sugar" Segerman authored the book "Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez," a compelling account of his extraordinary journey. 
  • Praised by Business Day for its uniqueness, the book delves into one of the most remarkable rock 'n roll narratives.
  • Rodriguez's continued musical endeavors remained evident, with a tour across the United States and Canada in 2018, culminating in a hometown performance at Detroit's Garden Theater. 
  • His captivating story resurfaced once more in a 2022 episode of "Outlook" on the BBC World Service, shedding light on his rediscovery and enduring legacy.

Who is Sixto Rodriguez's Wife?

Marital Status Married and Divorced
Sexual Orientation Straight
Wife Konny Rodriguez (ex-wife)

Sixto Rodriguez experienced both married and single phases in his life. He was initially married to his ex-wife Konny Rodriguez, whom he met during their time as students at Wayne State University in Detroit in 1972. Their marriage took place in the early 1980s. Despite their marital status at the time of his passing, the couple had been living apart for several years prior. Thus, while still legally married, they were estranged. At the time of his death, Sixto Rodriguez was single. He identified as straight in terms of his sexual orientation.

Sixto Rodriguez and his ex-wife, Konny Rodriguez

Sixto Rodriguez Death Cause Details

Death Date August 8, 2023
Cause Of Death Not Disclosed Yet

Legendary musician Sixto Rodriguez, renowned for being the focal point of the documentary "Searching for Sugar Man," passed away at the age of 81 on August 8, 2023. The official website of the Detroit-born singer confirmed his demise, though the cause of his death remained undisclosed. Despite initial struggles to achieve recognition in his native United States, Rodriguez's career took an unexpected turn as his music garnered a devoted international fanbase, particularly in South Africa and Australia. The statement released by his official website expressed profound condolences to his daughters and family, and the world mourned the loss of a true legend. Simon Chinn, producer of "Searching for Sugar Man," lamented the news, describing Rodriguez as an iconic figure whose music will endure. South African musician David Scott praised Rodriguez's remarkable life story and unparalleled impact on music culture, remarking that his legacy is one that will remain unparalleled.

Sixto Rodriguez Net Worth: Salary & Income Source

Net Worth $6 Million
Salary Around $1 Million
Source of Wealth Music Industry

Renowned singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, whose untimely passing occurred in 2023, boasted a notable net worth of $6 million. His career yielded an annual income of approximately $1 million, stemming from a prolific repertoire of albums and songs. His primary source of wealth emanated from the music industry, where he left an indelible mark. Content with his earnings, Rodriguez lived life to the fullest, leaving a legacy enriched by his musical contributions.

Sixto Rodriguez Eyes, Height & Weight

Height 1.85 meters (equivalent to 6 feet and 0 inches) or 185 centimeters
Weight 70 KG or 154 Pounds
Body Type Slim
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Black

Sixto Rodriguez, a handsome singer, possessed a physique characterized by a height of 1.85 meters (equivalent to 6 feet and 0 inches) or 185 centimeters, and a weight of 70 kilograms (154 pounds). His slim body type perfectly complemented his captivating appearance, contributing to his alluring charm. He had a long-length hair which was black in color. His eye color was black.