Here's a bit from way back at the first "rediscovery" of Rodriguez, May of 1998, when he ways still in his 50s, and apparently began getting paid:

"...For those who do not know, Sixto Rodriguez released two albums for Buddha
records in the late sixties and then became obscure as Buddha was bought by
A&M and his contract was not renewed. The two records found their way into
A&M's Australian and South African catalogues, and have sold extremely well
and very consistently since then. Americans were indifferent when asked to
find the original artiste as he did not feature in their popularity stakes
Nobody could find Rodriguez, but roumours abounded He had been assassinated
by the CIA whilst performing onstage in New York 'cos he knew too much about
the John Lennon Murder. A group of loyal fans recently decided to find him
and eventually tracked him down to Detroit, where they dragged him out of
relative obscurity and arranged a tour for him to South Africa, and
Australia, where he was all of a sudden a legend performing to capacity
crowds. With lots of Rands and Australian Dollars waiting in back royalties."