Reggae fusion is a fusion genre of Reggae that mixes Reggae or Dancehall with other genres such as Pop, Rock, R&B, Jazz and Drum and Bass. In addition to characterizing fusions of Reggae music with other genres, the term is used to describe artistes who frequently switch between Reggae and other genres, mainly Hip Hop and R&B, such as Kardinal Offishall, Sean Kingston, Chux Starr and Heavy D. The term is also used to describe artistes who are known to deejay over instrumentals which are neither Reggae nor Dancehall, such as Sean Paul, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Elephant Man, Shaggy, Beenie Man, Snow, Natasja Saad, Diana King, Delly Ranx, Dionne Bromfield and Tessanne Chin
Although artistes have been mixing Reggae with other genres from as early as the early 1970s, no official term had been used to describe this practice. Artistes such as UB40 were described using terms that joined the various genres they performed (e.g. Reggae Funk, Reggae Pop, Reggae-Disco). It was not until the late 1990s when the term was coined.
The sub genre predominantly evolved from late 1980s and early 1990s Dancehall music which instrumentals or riddims contained elements from the R&B and Hip-Hop genres. Due to this, some consider Dancehall artistes such as Mad Cobra, Shabba Ranks, Super Cat, Buju Banton and Tony Rebel as pioneers of Reggae Fusion. For some of these artistes, such as Buju Banton, Reggae Fusion became a staple throughout their careers.
Traditional Dancehall acts, such as Shaggy and Beenie Man experienced commercial success in the American markets with the release of their albums in 2000. Shaggy's album, Hot Shot, especially helped further propel the subgenre internationally, as his album spawned two #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, It Wasn't Me and Angel. No Doubt's 2002 massive hit album Rock Steady, with worldwide Reggae Fusion hits such as Underneath it All featuring Lady Saw and Hey Baby featuring Bounty Killer, further propelled the sub-genres popularity to new heights. This was especially because it marked one of the first times a Pop/Ska Punk act had made a complete Reggae Fusion album, since the mid-90s and opened up the genre to a new fan base as Reggae Fusion was, at that point, mainly utilized by Reggae artistes trying to break into the mainstream market In the 2000s Sean Paul achieve tremendous success internationally with singles such as Baby Boy, Get Busy, Make It Clap, among many others.