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Cleopatra Records

A star-studded and diverse roster of artists has contributed to a new album paying homage to the music of Eric Clapton.

The aptly titled A Tribute to Eric Clapton will be released on June 17 and can be preordered now on CD, as a limited-edition gold-vinyl LP and via digital formats. The album features renditions of a dozen of the guitar legend's best-known songs, including tunes from his solo career and from his old bands The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos.

Among the artists featured on the various tracks are Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, former Paul Revere and the Raiders frontman Mark Lindsay, ex-Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle, original E Street Band keyboardist David Sancious, Arthur Brown, longtime Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre, one-time Thin Lizzy guitarist Snowy White, Great White's Jack Russell, former Rainbow singer Graham Bonnet, and Molly Hatchet.

In advance of the album, a cover of Clapton's 1977 hit "Lay Down Sally" featuring veteran country star Sammy Kershaw and acclaimed session guitarist Albert Lee has been released via digital platforms.

Here's the full track list for A Tribute to Eric Clapton:

"Cocaine" -- Kirk Fletcher & Brian Auger
"Lay Down Sally" -- Sammy Kershaw & Albert Lee
"I Feel Free" -- Arthur Brown, James Williamson & Rat Scabies
"Sunshine of Your Love" -- dUg Pinnick & Eric Gales
"Let It Rain" -- Jack Russell & Sonny Landreth
"Wonderful Tonight" -- Oli Brown
"Layla" -- Molly Hatchet
"I Shot the Sheriff" -- Pat Travers, David Sancious & Artimus Pyle
"For Your Love" -- Mark Lindsay & Rick Nielsen
"Tears in Heaven" -- Ana Popovic
"White Room" -- Graham Bonnet & Snowy White
"Can't Find My Way Home" -- Shirley King & Martin Barre

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ANTI- Records

The new album Carry Me Home, featuring an archival live recording of late Band singer/drummer Levon Helm and gospel/soul legend Mavis Staples performing together with their respective solo groups, was released Friday, May 20, on CD and digital formats.

The album was recorded in the summer of 2011 at one of the popular Midnight Ramble events held at Helm's barn and studio in Woodstock, New York.

The concert featured performances of various vintage gospel, soul, folk and blues tunes, along with renditions of Bob Dylan's "You Got to Serve Somebody" and The Band's "The Weight." Mavis famously sang the latter tune with her family group The Staple Singers and The Band in the classic 1978 concert film The Last Waltz.

The Woodstock show marked the last time that Mavis performed with Helm, who died of cancer at age 71 in April 2012.

Coinciding with Carry Me Home's release, a video capturing Mavis singing an impromptu version of the traditional gospel song "This May Be The Last Time" at Helm's house with him and members of his band has been posted at the ANTI- Records label's YouTube channel.

Mavis, who spent several days with Helm in Woodstock before the show, notes, "It never crossed my mind that it might be the last time we'd see each other. He was so full of life and so happy that week. He was the same old Levon I'd always known, just a beautiful spirit inside and out."

To celebrate Carry Me Home's release, Mavis and Helm's daughter, Amy Helm, will perform at a concert Friday night in Brooklyn, New York, and on Saturday at the Levon-inspired Dirt Farmer Festival in Accord, New York.

A vinyl version of Carry Me Home will be released on June 17.

Here's the album's full track list:

"This Is My Country"
"Trouble in My Mind"
"Farther Along"
"Hand Writing on the Wall"
"I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free"
"Move Along Train"
"This May Be the Last Time"
"When I Go Away"
"Wide River to Cross"
"You Got to Move"
"You Got to Serve Somebody"
"The Weight"

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Shelter Music/BMG

ZZ Top has released an updated live version of their enduring 1981 song "Tube Snake Boogie" as an advance digital track from their upcoming album, Raw, which is due out on July 22.

As previously reported, Raw was recorded in conjunction with the famed blues-rock trio's 2019 documentary That Little Ol' Band from Texas and is being released as a tribute to longtime bassist Dusty Hill, who died in July 2021 at age 72.

For the movie, ZZ Top's classic lineup of Hill, singer/guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard played an intimate set of songs from their back catalog at historic Gruene Hall, known as "the oldest continually run dance hall in Texas," which was filmed and recorded. That "raw" performance serves as the basis for the new album.

"Tube Snake Boogie" originally appeared on ZZ Top's 1981 studio album El Loco and reached #4 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It has gone on to become a classic-rock radio staple.

Hill described "Tube Snake Boogie" as the ultimate "party song," while Gibbons credited Beard's drumming as the tune's driving force, noting, "It really revolves around Frank's opening, which is kind of surf-meets-jungle."

You can check out a video of ZZ Top performing "Tube Snake Boogie" at Gruene Hall at the band's YouTube channel.

Raw, which was produced by Gibbons, can be preordered now and will be available as a 180-gram vinyl LP, on CD and via digital formats.

Prior to the album's release, ZZ Top will kick off a lengthy U.S. trek, dubbed the Raw Whisky Tour, on May 27 in San Diego.

Here's the full track list of Raw:

"Brown Sugar"
"Just Got Paid"
"Heard It on the X"
"La Grange"
"Tush"
"Thunderbird"
"I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide"
"Legs"
"Gimme All Your Lovin'"
"Blue Jean Blues"
"Certified Blues"
"Tube Snake Boogie"

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Jim Dyson/Getty Images

The latest edition of U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times' annual Rich List has just been unveiled and, as usual, Paul McCartney is ranked among the wealthiest musicians in his homeland and Ireland.

The former Beatles legend -- whose wealth includes the fortune of his wife, American trucking heiress Nancy Shevell -- remains at the top of the tally, with a net worth of about $1.1 billion. That's an increase of about $56 million from the couple's 2021 total.

In second place for a second straight year are Irish rock greats U2 with a collective net worth of $780 million. Elton John remains in fourth place with about $493 million.

Making the biggest jump in the top-10 rankings is ex-Police frontman Sting, who moves from a tie for ninth place in 2021 into the #5 spot, with about $400 million.

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger is #6 on the tally with $397 million, while his bandmate and songwriting partner Keith Richards is #7 with $378 million.

At #8 are late Beatles guitarist George Harrison's widow and son, Olivia and Dhani Harrison, with a net worth of $368 million, while ex-Fab Four drummer Ringo Starr follows at #9 with $356 million.

Other veteran artists further down on the list include Queen guitarist Brian May at #12, Rod Stewart at #13, ex-Pink Floyd singer/bassist Roger Waters at #14, Queen drummer Roger Taylor at #16, Eric Clapton at #17 and 1960s pop idol Tom Jones at #19. Late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts' widow, Shirley, and their family are #20 on the tally.

Check out the full list at TheTimes.co.uk.

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Denise Truscello/Getty Images for House of Blues Las Vegas

An in-depth documentary about the life of rock-guitar legend Carlos Santana is currently in the works and is being directed by Emmy-winning Mexican American filmmaker Rudy Valdez.

The as-yet-untitled film will examine Santana's life and musical journey from a teenage street musician to leading a world famous and Grammy-winning rock band. The movie will feature previously unseen archival film footage and and unheard songs.

The film is being produced by Imagine Documentaries in collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment. Imagine co-founders Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are executive producing the project.

"I am honored and grateful to have partnered with Imagine Documentaries and Sony Music to bring my story to light," Santana says, noting that his story "is one of triumph and adventurousness."

He adds, "The intentionality of this film is to touch people's hearts and to inspire people to reconnect with their own light that they may ignite blessings and miracles."

Meanwhile, Imagine executive Justin Wilkes says, "We're thrilled that Carlos has entrusted us with bringing his incredibly inspirational story to life in this film. He is one of the greatest musicians of all time, and throughout his career, Santana has unapologetically broken down borders and reinvented a tone universally celebrated across the globe."

In other news, the 10th anniversary of the start of Santana's first Las Vegas residency show at the House of Blues was celebrated on Wednesday with a ceremony at the venue.

At the event, the 74-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer was presented with the Las Vegas Icon Award by county commissioner Justin Jones. Santana's manager, Michael Vrionis, announced that Santana had signed a multiyear extension to his House of Blues residency.

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS

Have Madonna's controversial Instagram posts finally caught up to her?

The Queen of Pop posted a video on Friday showing her and DJ Sickick, her partner on her latest "Frozen" remix, attempting to go live on Instagram Thursday night to talk about the track. But when she hits the button, a note pops up saying, "Blocked from sharing live videos" due to "going against community guidelines."

"What the f**k? What's happening?" Madonna asks. Wondering if it's because she's showing too much of her body, she then jokes, "I've never worn so many clothes in my life!" 

When someone points out that the block is due to Instagram's desire to "continue to be an authentic and safe place for inspiration and expression," Madonna -- whose whole brand is basically about authenticity and free expression -- responds, "I'm speechless."

In her Instagram Story, Madonna then apologized to fans, saying, “I’m sorry to let everybody down. I was really looking forward to this.” She also pondered what caused the block, noting that Instagram is being "really mysterious." 

"They’re not giving me a reason,” she says. “It’s like a bureaucracy inside of a computer." She then comments that she hasn't posted "anything crazy" on Instagram, "not this week anyways." 

That leads her to wonder if it's a "delayed reaction" to the NFTs she posted last week. Those NFTs -- collectible digital artwork she created for charity -- featured graphic, 3D digital images of her fully nude, including genitalia, giving birth to trees and butterflies.

As for the new "Frozen on Fire" remix, it's out now, and features new vocals and a new verse. It's the fourth iteration of the song since Sickick first remixed it for TikTok last year.

(Video features uncensored profanity.)

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UMe

Def Leppard has released a new advance single from their forthcoming studio album, Diamond Star Halos, a rocking, stadium-ready, riff-laden tune called "Fire It Up."

The track is available now via digital platforms, and you also can check a visualizer video for the song at Def Leppard's official YouTube channel.

Thursday, May 26, at 9 a.m. ET, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers will premiere a music video for "Fire It Up" on YouTube. Following the clip's debut, Def Leppard will take part in an exclusive afterparty, where the band members will discuss the new album.

For more information on how to join the afterparty, visit YouTube.

As previously reported, Diamond Star Halos will be released on Friday, May 27. The 15-track collection is the band's first album of new, original tunes since 2015's self-titled effort. It can be preordered now and will be available as a deluxe package, a two-LP set and digitally, among other configurations.

Diamond Star Halos includes two duets with acclaimed country/bluegrass artist and longtime Def Leppard fan Alison Krauss -- "This Guitar" and "Lifeless." In addition, famed David Bowie pianist Mike Garson plays on two songs -- "Goodbye for Good This Time" and "Angels (Can't Help You Now)."

Def Leppard debuted two other advance tracks from the album prior to "Fire It Up" -- "Kick" and "Take What You Want" -- and also released a music video for "Kick."

Diamond Star Halos arrives a few weeks before Def Leppard's expansive 36-city Stadium Tour of North America with Mötley Crüe, Poison and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. The trek gets underway June 16 in Atlanta and is mapped out through a September 9 concert in Las Vegas.

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Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Little Kids Rock

Following last weekend's mass shooting in Buffalo, New York -- in which 18-year-old Payton Gendron allegedly killed 10 Black shoppers in what's been described as a racially motivated shooting -- one famous Buffalo artist says the event has sent "shockwaves through the whole community."

The Goo Goo Dolls' John Rzeznik, born and raised in Buffalo, tells ABC Audio, "I feel mostly for the community that it's in and the people who live and work and shop in that neighborhood."

The shooting took place at a Tops supermarket, a local chain, and John notes, "[It's] such an important sort of anchor for that community, because there's not a lot of big supermarkets in that neighborhood. There aren't any, other than that one."

Indeed, since the supermarket's been closed, local organizations have had to step in to provide food for the locals. John says, "My biggest hope is that they keep that store open, because that community really needs that." He also says he and his Goo Goo Dolls bandmates are "willing and available" to do a benefit, if asked.

But earlier this week, John had happier news in another part of the state: He was in New York City to be honored as Rocker of the Year at the Little Kids Rock 20th anniversary benefit. The nonprofit supports music education in public schools nationwide.

"It's something that we wanted to get more involved with. I was pretty surprised that I was going to be one of the honorees. I thought that was really cool," John tells ABC Audio.

But it wasn't that cool for John's daughter, Lilliana, who accompanied him.

"I asked her, 'Well, did you like when I was singing?' And she said to me, 'I don't like when your hair is in your eyes,'" he laughs. "That's typical. You know, she's my kid. I'm her dad ... I don't think she gets it. I don't think she's all that impressed with it!"

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BMG

As they gear up for a joint summer tour with Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson, Chicago has released its first new song in over eight years, a bouncy pop gem titled "If This Is Goodbye."

The track is available now as a digital download and via streaming services, while a lyric video has debuted at Chicago's official YouTube channel.

The song mixes the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers' classic soulful, horn-driven sound with some electronic beats, with lyrics that seem to celebrate a long relationship that may be coming to an end.

"If this is goodbye, let's take one more shot for the memories/ Life's too short to be enemies," the band sings in the chorus. "If this ends tonight, you can save your tears for the other guy/ I'll see you in another life."

Chicago has been playing "If This Is Goodbye" at its recent concerts.

The band's joint tour with Wilson and his solo group kicks off on June 7 in Phoenix, although Chicago first has three headlining dates scheduled for May 20 in Greensboro, North Carolina; May 21 in Montgomery, Alabama; and May 22 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Check out the group's full schedule at ChicagotheBand.com.

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Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

Melissa Etheridge will do a special guest performance with finalist Noah Thompson on Sunday's American Idol finale.

American Idol tweeted the news in a video where judge Katy Perry told Leah Marlene that they'd be singing "Firework" together, and Luke Bryan told HunterGirl that they'd be singing the Randy Travis hit "I Told You So" as a duet. Katy then told Noah he'd be singing with Melissa, and he shrugged and said, "Sounds good!"

Melissa responded, "That moment when you realize the other two finalists are singing with the judges and you are singing with…what’s her name again?" She added, "don’t worry @noahthompsonmu1 we are gonna rock the finals."

Noah replied, "I can’t wait Melissa I really can’t, looking forward to meeting you and cannot wait for this duet."

Either Noah, Leah or HunterGirl will be crowned the American Idol on Sunday night, and Melissa is just one of the stars who'll be appearing on the finale. The lineup also includes judge Lionel Richie performing, plus country superstar Thomas Rhett, Michael Bublé, Sara Bareilles, Flo Rida and Earth, Wind and Fire.

The American Idol season 20 finale airs live Sunday, May 22, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Simone Joyner/Getty Images

Stop us if you've heard this one before: The Cure's next album will be released later this year.

Frontman Robert Smith has been teasing the follow-up to 2008's 4:13 Dream dating back to at least 2019, when he told NME that he was "intent" on releasing a new Cure record by the end of that year.

Well, it's now 2022, and Smith is once again telling the U.K. publication that The Cure will release a new album before the year is over.

"We will be releasing a new album," Smith says. "I get fed up of saying this now! We will be playing from October and the new album will be out before then."

Smith describes the record, which is currently titled Songs of a Lost World, as "pretty relentless," correctly asserting that vibe "will appeal to the hardcore of our audience."

"I don't think we'll be getting any #1 singles off it or anything like that!" he laughs. "It's been quite harrowing, like it has for everyone else."

Meanwhile, Smith and longtime Cure bassist Simon Gallup were honored with the Music Icon Award at the 2022 Ivor Novello Awards, which were held earlier this week. The prestigious U.K. prize recognized the pair as "true cultural icons who have changed the face of popular music across the last four decades as songwriters for The Cure."

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Mercury Studios

A "restored and expanded" version of The Police's 1982 documentary The Police: Around the World got its release today.

The film is now available on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time ever, with the new discs boasting restored video and remastered audio, plus bonus performances of four full songs.

In addition, the new release, titled The Police: Around The World Restored & Expanded, comes packaged with a newly created soundtrack album either on CD or as a colored-vinyl LP that includes performances recorded at shows in Japan, Hong Kong and the U.K. during the same world tour documented in the movie.

The film captures The Police on stage and off while touring in 1979 and 1980 in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, India, Egypt, Greece, France, South America and the U.S.

"Well, the cool thing about this film is [it captures the band] at its hungriest, and also when the synergy was strongest," drummer Stewart Copeland tells ABC Audio. "And combine that with the exotic locations -- very colorful, very picturesque -- and it's a fun ride. Three guys having a lot of fun in strange places."

Copeland says his favorite part of the tour was a visit to Cairo, Egypt, during which -- as seen in the film -- he and band mates Sting and Andy Summers hired horses and rode all around the Great Pyramids of Giza.

"That was a fun day," Stewart recalls.

Meanwhile, Copeland notes about The Police's performances in the movie and on the album, "We were hot as firecrackers at the time," adding that "the excitement of that tour gave us some extra juice."

The Police: Around the World Restored & Expanded is available as a DVD/CD set, a Blu-ray/CD package and a DVD/LP collection.

The DVD & Blu-ray feature performances of:

"Next to You"
"Walking on the Moon"
"Born in the 50's"
"So Lonely"
"Man in a Suitcase"
"Can't Stand Losing You"
"Bring On the Night"
"Canary in a Coalmine"
"Voices Inside My Head"
"When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around"
"Shadows in the Rain"
"Don't Stand So Close to Me"
"Truth Hits Everybody"
"Roxanne"

Bonus features -- complete live performances of:
"Walking on the Moon" (Live from Kyoto)
"Next to You" (Live from Kyoto)
"Message in a Bottle" (Live from Hong Kong)
"Born in the 50's" (Live from Hong Kong)

Here's the soundtrack album's track list:
"Walking on the Moon" (Live from Kyoto)
"Next to You" (Live from Kyoto)*
"Deathwish" (Live from Kyoto)
"So Lonely" (Live from Kyoto)
"Can't Stand Losing You" (Live from Kyoto)
"Truth Hits Everybody" (Live from Kyoto)
"Visions of the Night" (Live from Hammersmith)*
"Roxanne" (Live from Hammersmith)
Intro*
"Born in the 50's" (Live from Hong Kong)
"Message in a Bottle" (Live from Hong Kong)
"Bring On the Night" (Live from Hong Kong)

* = not included on vinyl LP.

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Harry Herd/Redferns

After postponing the first two dates of his new run of European concerts this week because he recently contracted the COVID-19 virus, Eric Clapton has now postponed two more shows -- a pair of performances that had been scheduled in Bologna, Italy, this Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21.

A message posted on the official Where's Eric website explains, "Clapton, whilst feeling fine in himself, has again tested positive for Covid this morning. Whilst there is a strong body of medical opinion that after several days since the first positive test, a person is no longer infectious, it is by no means agreed by all. Accordingly, Eric does not want to travel while still testing positive and take the risk of infecting others."

The note adds that, under the circumstances, it's possible that "the Italian authorities would not…permit [Eric's] entry into Italy."

All four postponed concerts, which also include shows originally scheduled for May 17 in Zurich, Switzerland, and May 18 in Milan, Italy, will be rescheduled by the end of 2022. The new dates will be announced within the next two weeks, and tickets purchased for the postponed concerts will be valid for the rescheduled dates.

Clapton's next scheduled show is now a May 29 performance in Berlin. According to the message on the Where's Eric site, "by [that] time we have every hope that there will be no obstacle to Eric being able to perform that concert and the remainder of the scheduled concerts."

Visit EricClapton.com to check out Clapton's full tour schedule.

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Credit: Rob Prior

Back in the '90s, Alanis Morissette may have been described as "angry," but these days, she's pretty chill. So chill, in fact, that she's recorded her first-ever meditation album.

Called the storm before the calm, the album arrives on June 17. On it, the Grammy-winning star will offer listeners 11 different songs to listen to while meditating. You can listen to the first track, which is called "safety -- empath in paradise," now.

On her website, Alanis writes, "During the the last while within the pandemic i felt very inspired to write and remain connected (didn’t always work. and when it didn’t, it felt like a unique torture). all i knew was that i wanted to write a record that would offer something. and throughout the process of creating it...it became its own multi-layered life raft during a time where i felt like i might disappear and float away."

She adds, "This album is filled with what i hope might be a safe invitation to and compatriot in your/our dropping in…i offer this first song and the entire record to match and be available for any junctures on your personal journey."

Alanis suggests that the album can be used for "relaxation or resting or releasing or emboldening or sweaty wildness or embodying or empowering or clarifying," and hopes that it will "serve as a catalyst, a soothing, a glimpse of awakening. an honoring. an objectivity. a wordless partner in healing. a place to land. inquire. breathe. notice."

"May this music serve as a friend in the thawing. a permission to feel and explore while feeling connected. and supported," she adds.

The album is also being released on the mental health app Calm.

Here's the track listing for the storm before the calm:

"light -- the lightworker’s lament"
"heart -- power of a soft heart"
"explore -- the other side of stillness"
"space -- pause on violence"
"purification -- the alchemical crunch"
"restore -- calling Generation X"
"awakening -- in between thoughts"
"ground -- I want to live"
"safety -- empath in paradise"
"mania -- resting in the fire"
"vapor -- amplified in stillness"

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Gary Miller/Getty Images

Last Monday, May 16, R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills was presented with an honorary doctor of humanities degree at Mercer University in his childhood hometown of Macon, Georgia, during the school's commencement ceremony.

Prior to receiving the degree, the 63-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer played a version of his band's classic song "Losing My Religion," and a video of the performance has been posted on the university's official YouTube channel.

Mills co-founded R.E.M. while attending the University of Georgia in Athens, although he never graduated college.

Before performing at the commencement, Mike addressed Mercer's graduating students, saying, "I am truly and deeply humbled to be standing here today … You're about to accomplish something I never did, which is to graduate from college. So as you continue your journey, I wish you good luck and Godspeed."

Mills plays an electric guitar while singing the song, and he was accompanied by his friend, acclaimed violinist Robert McDuffie, who founded Mercer University's Robert McDuffie Center for Strings in the Townsend School of Music.

In presenting Mills with the honorary degree, the university's president, William D. Underwood, said, "[T]his region has a great history of producing great musical geniuses, from Little Richard to Otis Redding to the Allman Brothers Band to Chuck Leavell and Robert McDuffie. As great as these musical geniuses have been, none of them had more impact with the genius of their work than Mike Mills."

Mills was born in Orange County, California, and his family moved to Macon while he was still a baby. In high school, he met drummer Bill Berry, and the two began playing music together, eventually forming R.E.M. with singer Michael Stipe and guitarist Peter Buck in 1980. R.E.M. disbanded in 2011.

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