Widely recognized as one of Cuba's best folk singers, he is respected as the leader of the nueva trova movement. With nearly two dozen successful albums, many of his songs have become Latin American classics.
After the Cuban revolution when he was only thirteen, he was galvanized to involve himself in politics, eventually working as a comic designer for a magazine. It was then that he began to learn guitar before joining military service.
He has often been referred as Cuba's John Lennon.
His father, Víctor Dagoberto Rodríguez Ortega, was a farmer and amateur poet and his mother, Argelia Domínguez León, was a housewife.
He has been denied a US visa numerous times, including in 2009 when he wanted to attend the 90th birthday celebration of Pete Seeger.