The main genres of music that originated in Jamaica include Reggae, Dancehall, Folk, Mento, and Ska. Reggae and Dancehall are the most popular genres in the island. The most famous reggae star was Bob Marley, who was backed by his group the Wailers. Other famous reggae stars include Desmond Dekkar, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, and Burning Spear.
Ska is one of Jamaica music genres and it originated in the late 1950's. It is a combination of different elements such as Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. It is characterized by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the off-beat.
Reggae began in the late 1960's and it is one of the most popular genres of music in Jamaica. A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals "Do the Reggay" was the first popular song to use the word "reggae," effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience. Reggae was strongly influenced by traditional mento as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues. Reggae usually relates love, news, social gossip, and political comment. Reggae is noted for its tradition of social criticism and religion in its lyrics, although many reggae songs discuss lighter, more personal subjects, such as love and socializing. Reggae has spread to many countries across the world, often incorporating local instruments and fusing with other genres.
Dancehall is another popular genre of music in Jamaica and it originated in the 1970s. Initially, dancehall was a more sparse version of reggae than the roots style, which had dominated much of the 1970s. In the mid-1980s, digital instrumentation became more prevalent, changing the sound considerably, with digital dancehall (or "ragga") becoming increasingly characterized by faster rhythms.
Dancehall music saw mainstream success in Jamaica throughout the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. By the 2010s, dancehall began to heavily influence the work of established Western artists producers which has helped to further bring the genre into the Western music mainstream