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alt. A style of Latin American popular music. n. A style of Latin American popular music.


Reggaetón is a genre of music characterized by its repetitive beat rhythm that originated in Puerto Rico. Its roots can be traced back to the “underground” music of the island during the late 1990s, when music borrowing elements of reggae, rap, and hip-hop was being performed (in Spanish) in small, unofficial venues. Bootleg recordings and word of mouth were the means of distribution for this music until 1997. In 1998 eventually that music coalesced into what today is known as reggaeton. The music’s popularity skyrocketed in the early 2000s as it spread to North American, European, Asian, and African audiences.

Reggaeton blends musical influences of Jamaican dancehall and Trinidadian soca with those of Puerto Rico, such as salsa, bomba, Latin American hip hop, and electronica. Vocals include rapping and singing, typically in Spanish. Lyrical style tends to resemble hip hop.