‘Searching For Sugar Man’ singer Rodriguez in royalties dispute

Two companies are debating over the rights to the singer's 1970s' material

Searching For Sugar Man singer Rodriguez has become embroiled in a royalties dispute.

Two companies are debating over the rights to the protest singer’s songwriting royalties, with the artist accused of failing to tell one company that his songs were already owned by another, reports The Guardian. Rodriguez released two albums, 1970’s ‘Cold Fact’ and 1971’s ‘Coming From Reality’ before becoming well known years later, thanks to the Academy Award winning film Searching For Sugar Man.

A company called Interior has filed a complaint against the singer, saying that he said he had been dropped from his previous label Gomba and that his songs were licence free. A comment from Interior’s lawyers states: “Rodriguez provided to [us], in the form of a sworn affidavit, written notice of his rescission.” Rodriguez has been issued with a summons, accused of breaching warranties, even though the alleged incident took place 43 years ago.

Gomba Music sued Interior’s Clarence Avant earlier this year for fraudulently collecting the singer’s royalties. Gomba stated that they signed him for five years in 1966 and claimed that Interior had attributed his songs to a man called ‘Jesus Rodriguez’, who was in fact the singer himself, Sixto Rodriguez.

Last year it was reported that Rodriguez was preparing to release his long-awaited third album. Speaking to Rolling Stone, the now 71-year-old said he was looking to record with a couple of producers including Steve Rowland. “He told me to send him a couple of tapes, so I’m gonna do that,” Rodriguez said. “I certainly want to look him up, because now he’s full of ideas.”

He added: “I’ve written about 30 songs, and that’s pretty much what the public has heard. Musicians want to be heard. So I’m not hiding. But I do like to leave it there onstage and be myself, in that sense. Because some people carry it with them.” Rodriguez also confirmed that he may work with Irish producer David Holmes on his new songs.