Legendary singer and songwriter Sixto Díaz Rodríguez has died at the age of 81, as confirmed.
It was reported that the star, who only went by her last name, suffered a stroke in the months before her death and battled the disease after the incident.
A post shared on the musician’s blog and official website announced his death. “We at Sugarman.org are saddened to announce that Sixto Díaz Rodríguez passed away earlier today,” it read. “Our deepest condolences to his daughters – Sandra, Eva and Regan – and to his entire family.”
Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, who runs SugarMan.org, also confirmed Rodriguez’s death to News24. “We confirmed with his daughter, Sandra, that he passed away yesterday, August 8, at 5:30 Detroit time,” Segerman said.
After releasing two albums that did not sell well (1970’s “Cold Fact” and 1971’s “Coming From Reality”) on Sussex Records, he left and gave up music to work in the demolition and production industries.
Although Rodríguez’s records failed to gain a foothold in the United States upon their release, they gained a large following overseas, and grew in popularity in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe . At His Best”, a compilation album released by the Australian record label Blue Goose, was certified platinum in South Africa, and Rodriguez toured Australia in 1979 and 1981.
Twenty years later, after discovering that his fame had only grown in South Africa since the 1970s, he toured that country, when the documentary Dead Men Don’t Tour: Rodriguez was filmed in South Africa. The title was a nod to the rumor in the country that the star committed suicide during a concert years before. Rodríguez would return to South Africa for further tours, in 2001 and 2005.
Over the years, Rodriguez gradually became a cult figure in his home country as well, with Nas sampling his song “Sugar Man” on the 2001 track “You Da Man” and the song also appearing on the soundtrack of the 2006 film Candy, with Ledger Heath. In 2009, Light In The Attic Records reissued his two studio albums.
However, his infamy reached its peak in 2012, when the documentary Searching For Sugar Man was released. The film, directed by Malik Bendjelloul, followed two South African fans trying to find out if the rumors about him were true. Rodriguez’s real death and, if not. , what happened to. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the BAFTA for Best Documentary and the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2013.
Following the film’s release, Rodríguez headlined a string of concerts and festivals, including an appearance at Glastonbury 2013 and a headlining slot at Wilderness Festival the same year.
Musicians and fans have begun paying tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter. Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe wrote on Twitter/X: “RIP Sixto Rodriguez – Glad your family found you before you passed.”
Shamir posted Rodríguez’s song ‘Causa’, writing: “RIP Sixto Rodríguez. This is literally one of the best songs ever written, and one of my favourites.”
See more tributes below.
This is a developing story and will be updated.