It might be surprising to learn that the artist known as Rodriguez or ‘Sugar Man’ is extremely popular thousands of miles from his native Detroit. In fact, he is so popular that it is said he has sold more records in South Africa than Elvis Presley!
It is believed that his lyrics about fighting against the system helped gain him fans in South Africa, especially during the time of anti-apartheid protests. There was a widespread rumor in South Africa in the 80s and 90s that Rodriguez had passed away, and when it was discovered he was still alive, his fame shot up again. Since gaining this huge fan base, he has toured across South Africa multiple times.
Air Supply - Jamaica
When Air Supply lead singer Graham Russell was told that his band was loved in Jamaica, he had trouble believing it. He explained that it wasn’t until they played at the country's Jazz and Blues festival that they got to see first-hand how intense it truly was. Since then, they've maintained a close relationship with their Jamaican fans.
Surprisingly, the soft rock band is especially appreciated on the island, making their trip to Jamaica one of their most memorable concerts. Many believe that Jamaicans love Air Supply for their deep lyrics about love and relationships, a piece of music known as “soul sounds.”
Alyssa Milano - Japan
During the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, it seemed that you couldn’t be a celebrity without producing at least one pop album in Japan, and Alyssa Milano was no different. In 1989, she released an album called “Look in My Heart.”
Though few Americans know about her pop star career, she was huge in Japan. She even ended up recording four albums for the Japanese market! While today she might be embarrassed by her music, she once said she recorded music in Japan because she much preferred to have it released where it’s appreciated rather than where she would be laughed at.
Nicole Kidman – Venezuela
Born in Hawaii to Australian parents while on student visas, Nicole Kidman began her life as someone that loved to be international, but it got better from there. She became one of the most famous and highest-paid actresses in the world thanks to appearing in famous films like “Far and Away,” “Batman Forever,” “Eyes Wide Shut,” and many, many more. She’s still making plenty of movies, acting and producing television, and even has a little bit of music out there.
In addition, she’s also INCREDIBLY famous in Venezuela. Why? We don’t know! However, she is such a draw for that country that when Kidman tried some of the local cuisine (arepa) while she was in Australia, the news in Venezuela covered the event for entire weeks. Remember, she wasn’t even in Venezuela at the time.
Sylvester Stallone – Russia
It’s weird to think that Sylvester Stallone is so famous in Russia when some of his biggest moments as an actor – John Rambo and Rocky Balboa – came about while going up against Russians. Or, at least, people from the Soviet Union. Would this man be anywhere near as popular and beloved as he is now if he never got into the ring with Ivan Drago (who was played by the Swedish Dolph Lundgren)?
Yet Stallone is a big figure in Russia for some reason. Some of his films, including “Grudge Match” had their biggest overseas gross from the country. It’s not just his acting that has made him famous, either. He’s also celebrated as a painter for some reason, and he once even got to have an exhibition in a St. Petersburg museum.