‘Mexico’s Rafael Puente’ Vicente Fernández, known for marijuana advocacy, dies at 81

Vicente Fernández (C), who helped lead the successful movement that helped legalize recreational marijuana in his native Mexico, reportedly died of a heart attack at 81. (Merlo Contreras/The State of Mexico/AP) Vicente Fernández, the…

‘Mexico’s Rafael Puente’ Vicente Fernández, known for marijuana advocacy, dies at 81

Vicente Fernández (C), who helped lead the successful movement that helped legalize recreational marijuana in his native Mexico, reportedly died of a heart attack at 81. (Merlo Contreras/The State of Mexico/AP)

Vicente Fernández, the internationally famous Mexican singer known as “Mexico’s Rafael Puente,” died Thursday at the age of 81.

A cause of death was not given.

Fernández rose to fame in the 1960s with hit songs like “Mi alma para caso esa ustedza,” or “My poor opinion in the way others treat you.”

His more recent work included songs that promoted higher education and had positive messages.

Fernández also helped lead the movement that helped legalize recreational marijuana in his native Mexico.

Fernández became known for his energy, an ideal for people in charge of activism in Mexico.

The news of his death was shared Thursday morning by “Loco de Música,” the nonprofit advocacy group he headed that has worked on marijuana legalization and literacy.

The drug-related crimes in Mexico took more than 90 lives last year.

The number is a dramatic rise from 2014, when 31,000 drug-related deaths were reported.

The state-run newspaper reported that Mexico’s government won’t confirm that he passed away. The news came from regional newspapers in Sonora.

Fernández was one of the most colorful entertainers in Mexico, seeing more than 350 hit songs on the local charts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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