Rodriguez, the legendary singer/songwriter known only by his surname, is a self-taught guitarist. He began performing in bars and clubs around the city of Detroit in the 1960s, as the city suffered post-industrial urban decay. It was there that he recorded two studio albums, Cold Fact (1969) and Coming from Reality (1971), both of which went unnoticed in the U.S. and eventually turning Rodriguez’s efforts elsewhere.
It wasn’t until the 1990s that Rodriguez gained his popularity from South African fans who sought him out and leading to the unanticipated renaissance of his music career. Their story is told in the 2012 Oscar Award-winning documentary “Searching for Sugar Man,” which has given Rodriguez a new measure of fame in the U.S. with his music and story now reaching audiences worldwide.
Rodriguez now tours extensively in South Africa, Australia, Europe, Canada and the U.S., where he takes thoughtful appreciation in greeting longtime fans, and a new generation of listeners who find common ground in his music. Cold Fact and Coming from Reality have been re-released as well as the Search for Sugar Man soundtrack.