Sixto Rodriguez, singer-songwriter of Searching for Sugar Man fame, dies at 81

Sixto Rodriguez performs live onstage at the Arcimboldi Theatre in Milan, Italy on May 15, 2015
(Image credit: Elena Di Vincenzo/Archivio Elena di Vincenzo/Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images)

Singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez – whose remarkable life was the focus of the Oscar-winning documentary, Searching for Sugar Man – has died at the age of 81, his website confirmed Tuesday (August 8).

“It is with great sadness that we at announce that Sixto Diaz Rodriguez passed away earlier today,” a statement on the singer’s website reads. “We extend our most heartfelt condolences to his daughters – Sandra, Eva, and Regan – and to all his family. Rodriguez was 81 years old. May his dear soul rest in peace.” 

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.