This is a genre of Jamaican popular music that originated in the late 1970s.
Two of the biggest stars of the early Dancehall era were Yellowman and Eek-a-Mouse. Dancehall brought a new generation of producers, including Linval Thompson, Gussie Clarke and Jah Thomas.
In the mid-'80s, digital instrumentation became more prevalent, changing the sound considerably, with digital dancehall (or "Ragga") becoming increasingly characterised by faster rhythms. (The word "bashment", a term originating in the '90s, was used to describe a particularly good dance; for example "to go to a bashment dance". In the Dancehall vernacular, "bashment" is therefore an adjective instead of a noun.)
In the early '90s songs by Dawn Penn, Shabba Ranks, Patra and Chaka Demus and Pliers were the first dancehall megahits in the US and abroad. Other varieties of dancehall achieved crossover success outside of Jamaica during the mid-to-late '90s. After the popularizing of Buju Banton's dancehall song "Boom Bye Bye" in the early 1990s, dancehall music came under criticism over anti-gay lyrics in a few songs. The early 2000s saw the success of newer charting acts such as Rihanna, Elephant Man and Sean Paul, causing Dancehall to have a resurgence within the Pop market in the late 2000s.