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Rodriguez of 'Sugar Man' fame receives honorary doctorate from Wayne State University

  • Wayne State University Board of Governors Paul Massaron, left, and Sandra Hughes O'Brien confer a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree to Sixto Rodriguez, Thursday, May 9, 2013 in Detroit, during the university's commencement. Rodriguez's two albums in the early 1970s received little attention in the United States but he unknowingly developed a cult following in South Africa during the apartheid era. He was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, "Searching for Sugar Man.".(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)The Associated Press

  • Wayne State University Board of Governors Vice Chair Gary Pollard, left, presents a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree to Sixto Rodriguez, Thursday, May 9, 2013 in Detroit, during the university's commencement. Rodriguez's two albums in the early 1970s received little attention in the United States but he unknowingly developed a cult following in South Africa during the apartheid era. He was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, "Searching for Sugar Man.".(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)The Associated Press

  • Wayne State University Board of Governors Paul Massaron, left, talks with Sixto Rodriguez after Rodriguez received a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree, Thursday, May 9, 2013 in Detroit, during the university's commencement ceremony. Rodriguez's two albums in the early 1970s received little attention in the United States but he unknowingly developed a cult following in South Africa during the apartheid era. He was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, "Searching for Sugar Man.".(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)The Associated Press

Wayne State University had no idea that a folk hero was in its midst when the Detroit school awarded Sixto Rodriguez a philosophy degree in 1981.

Then again, Rodriguez had no idea about his fame, either.

The Motor City musician received a Doctor of Humane Letters on Thursday during the university's commencement ceremonies at Ford Field. He has been recognized 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 unknowingly developed a cult following in South Africa during the apartheid era. He was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, "Searching for Sugar Man."

After his music career fizzled stateside, Rodriguez worked various jobs around Detroit, ran for public office and obtained his bachelor's degree.