The early Jamaican music industry was dominated by mento—a form of folk music that emerged in the late 1800s as a fusion of African and even elements of British music. Mento was a popular dance style that made its way into the early Jamaican recording studios.
Early Jamaican musicians that got their start in the 1920s and 1930s were mostly mento artists, playing local dances and touring a small circuit of Caribbean islands. A few, like Ernest Ranglin, became famous international stars, touring Europe and America with international jazz stars.
In 1945, Studio One opened its doors to all kinds of musicians from all over the world—from rock & rollers to country singers—and helped develop what we know as reggae today. By 1959, at least one-third of British.
Reggae and dancehall are two of the most popular genres in Jamaican music.
Reggae is one of the most popular musical genres in Jamaica. The genre originated in Jamaica with artists like Bob Marley who invented it in the 1960s by combining elements of American soul, gospel, and rhythm and blues with Jamaican mento and calypso styles.
Dancehall is another popular genre that emerged from reggae in the 1980s. Dancehall was invented by DJs who used electronic instruments to create new sounds. It has a faster tempo than reggae which has a steady beat played on drums, guitar, or piano.
Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean with a population of more than 3 million people. The Jamaican diaspora has produced many notable figures in the world of music, literature, and athletics.
Some of Jamaica’s most famous musical exports are Bob Marley, Toots Hibbert, and Jimmy Cliff. These three musicians have achieved international fame for developing the ska genre of Caribbean music. Jamaicans are also known for their internationally acclaimed dancehall scene.
Jamaica also has had a long list of athletes who have competed at Olympic level or international competition levels in sports such as track and field or swimming. This includes several world-record holders including Usain Bolt or the Empress of the Olympic tracks, Merlene Ottey.