'Sugar Man' Rodriguez to receive honorary degree from Wayne State University

DETROIT (AP) - Wayne State University had no idea that a folk hero was in its midst when Sixto Rodriguez received his philosophy degree in 1981 from the Detroit school.

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

The Motor City musician receives a Doctor of Humane Letters Thursday during the university's commencement ceremonies at Ford Field. He's being 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 degree.