Traverse City Record-Eagle

May 1, 2013

Sixto Rodriguez to get honorary degree


— DETROIT (AP) — A Motor City folk-rocker who unknowingly found fame an ocean away will be honored by his alma mater.

Sixto Rodriguez will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters May 9 from Wayne State University during the school’s commencement ceremonies at Ford Field. The Detroit university is honoring the 1981 graduate for his “musical genius and commitment to social justice.”

Rodriguez’s two albums in the early 1970s received little attention in the United States but he developed a cult following in South Africa during the apartheid era. He was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, “Searching for Sugar Man.”

When his music career fizzled, Rodriguez told The Associated Press last year he went “back to work.” That included running for public office in Detroit and obtaining his philosophy degree from Wayne State.