The American singer and songwriter Rodriguez quit the music industry in the 1970s after recording two albums.
While he went back to work on a construction site in Detroit, thousands of miles away in South Africa his songs became hits among supporters of the anti-apartheid movement.
Two decades later one of those fans tracked Rodriguez down in the US.
Now the story of the musician, once regarded as an enigmatic, elusive figure, is being told in a documentary called Searching for Sugar Man.
And Rodriguez is travelling the world promoting the film and playing gigs again. The BBC’s William Marquez caught up with him in Washington, DC.