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Wednesday April 10, 2013

NEW YORK -- Sixto Diaz Rodriguez can’t hit the high notes like he used to, but that didn’t matter to his fans.

The 70-year-old singer made famous by the Oscar-winning documentary "Searching for Sugar Man" performed Sunday night to a worshipful crowd at Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre.

The folk-rocker was at his best performing his own songs. But the set list of 21 songs also included seven covers, with several American standards that his fading upper register cannot quite manage.

None of that mattered to his fans -- at least the ones who stayed until the 90-minute show ended.

Rodriguez, who suffers from glaucoma, was led on and off the stage. He was dressed head to toe in black and wore dark glasses.

"Searching for Sugar Man" tells the story of how Rodriguez disappeared from public life after making two albums in the early 1970s. Unbeknownst to him, his records developed a cult following in South Africa during the apartheid era. His fans came to believe he’d committed suicide, but the end of apartheid and the advent of the Internet enabled them to find him and bring him to South Africa for a triumphant tour.


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