Rapper and LGBT activist Kevin Fret has been shot dead in Puerto Rico.

The 24-year-old musician, known as Latin trap music’s first openly gay artist who has been credited with “transforming the genre”, was killed in the country’s capital San Juan on Thursday, according to police.

Fret was shot eight times while riding his motorbike in the street at around 5.30am, according to local media.

Fret’s manager, Eduardo Rodriguez, confirmed the artist’s death and described the rapper as “an artistic soul”.

He said: “Kevin was an artistic soul, a big-hearted dreamer. His passion was music, and still had a lot to do.

“This violence must stop. There are no words that describe the feeling we have and the pain that causes us to know that a person with so many dreams has to go.

“We must all unite in these difficult times, and ask for much peace for our beloved Puerto Rico.”

Fret gained acclaim for his single Soy Asi, which has more than 600,000 views on YouTube,

His death brings the number of murders in Puerto Rico this year to 22, police said.

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Fret, who spent time living in Miami, told magazine Paper last year: “I’m a person that doesn’t care what anybody has to say… [I see] young gay guys or young lesbians that are looking at me now like a role model, like wow, if he did it, and he don’t care what anybody else has to say, I can do it.”

The magazine described his music as “transcending the machismo and transforming the genre”.