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In popular music, worldbeat refers to any style of music which fuses folk music, often from non-traditional sources (essentially, outside the Appalachian folk and Celtic traditions) with Western rock or other pop influences.

Worldbeat is usually said to have begun in the mid-1980s when artists like David Byrne, Peter Gabriel, and Paul Simon began incorporating influences from around the world, especially Africa and Latin America. Within a few years, worldbeat became a thriving subgenre of popular music that influenced many more mainstream musicians (for example Kirsty MacColl on her Latin America-inspired album Tropical Brainstorm). In the 2000s, indie bands such as Gang Gang Dance, Yeasayer, and Vampire Weekend were influenced by the genre. Some of the most commonly incorporated types of folk music include rai, samba, flamenco, tango, qawwali, highlife and raga.

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