Two-tone (or 2 tone) is a genre of British music that fuses traditional ska with musical elements of punk rock and new wave music. Its name comes from 2 Tone Records, a label founded by Jerry Dammers of The Specials, and references a desire to transcend and defuse racial tensions in Thatcher-era Britain; many two-tone groups, such as The Specials, The Selecter, and The Beat featured a mix of black, white, and multiracial people. Originating in the urban centers in England in the late 1970s, it was part of the second wave of ska music, following on from the first ska music that developed in Jamaica in the 1950s and 1960s, and infused it with punk and new wave textures. Although two-tone’s mainstream commercial appeal was largely limited to the UK, it influenced the third wave ska and ska punk movements that developed in the US in the late 1980s and 1990s.
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