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'Sugar Man' Sixto Rodriguez dies aged 81

Sixto Rodriguez performs on stage at Carnival City, near Johannesburg, on Feb. 12, 2013.   -  
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U.S singer and songwriter Sixto Diaz Rodriguez better known as Rodriguez, has died at the age of 81.

His death in Detroit, Michigan in the United States was confirmed on Wednesday (Aug. 09) by his granddaughter, Amanda Kennedy.

The artist, little known in his country was a star in South Africa, where his songs protesting the Vietnam War, social mores, the abuse of women and racial inequality became hits.

Some of them were banned by the Apartheid regime and many bootlegged copies were made on tapes and later CDs.

Rodriguez's albums flopped in the U.S. but he was a huge star in the 70s in South Africa and again later with the release of a documentary in 2012.

The Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man describes two South Africans’ mission to seek out the fate of their musical hero.

After his music career fizzled, Rodriguez focused on raising a family and launched several unsuccessful campaigns for public office. The underground folk musician made a living through manual labor.

His socially conscious lyrics and unique blend of psychedelic folk rock also rose to popularity in Australia and New Zealand.

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