- Cee Lo Green
Cee Lo Green
Cee Lo Green at a Gnarls Barkley concert in July 2010.
Background information Birth name Thomas DeCarlo Callaway Also known as Cee Lo Green, Cee Lo Born May 30, 1974 
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Genres Soul, hip hop, neo soul, R&B, funk, alternative hip hop, hip hop soul Occupations Singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, actor Instruments Vocals, piano Years active 1992–present (group)
Labels Arista, Elektra Associated acts Gnarls Barkley, Goodie Mob, TLC, Kid Cudi, OutKast, Jazze Pha, Bruno Mars Website ceelogreen.com
Thomas DeCarlo Callaway (born May 30, 1974), better known by his stage name Cee Lo Green, is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer and actor. He originally came to prominence as a member of the southern hip hop group Goodie Mob, later launching a critically acclaimed solo career and forming Gnarls Barkley with DJ Danger Mouse.
Internationally, Cee Lo is best known for his hip hop work and Gnarls Barkley's 2006 worldwide hit "Crazy", which reached number one in various singles charts worldwide, including the UK. In the United States, "Crazy" reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Parent album St. Elsewhere was also a hit, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart and number four on the US Billboard 200 album charts. Gnarls Barkley's second album, internationally less successful, The Odd Couple (2008) missed the top ten in both the UK and U.S., where it charted at number 12 in the U.S. and 18 in the UK.
In 2010, Cee Lo took a break from recording with Gnarls Barkley and released the single "Fuck You!" on August 19, 2010, as a solo recording artist. The song was an instant hit, reaching the top spot in the UK and the Netherlands and charted at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The parent album, The Lady Killer (2010) saw similar success, peaking within the top five of the UK Album Charts and debuting within the top ten on the Billboard 200 album charts, and received a Gold certification from the BPI in the UK shortly after its release. His second single "It's OK" was a hit in Europe and the third single, "Bright Lights Bigger City" has also seen similar charting success. Cee Lo is currently a vocal coach on the NBC reality talent show The Voice with Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Music career
- 3 Television and film career
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Controversies
- 6 Discography
- 7 Awards and nominations
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Cee Lo Green was born Thomas DeCarlo Farranti in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from Benjamin E. Mays High School in Southwest Atlanta. Both of his parents were ordained ministers and he started his music career in his church. His father died when he was two years old. His mother, Sheila J. Tyler-Callaway, was also a volunteer firefighter. She was involved in a car crash, leaving her paralyzed, and died two years after the accident. At the time, Cee Lo was 18 years old and his career with Goodie Mob had just begun taking off. His mother's death led Cee Lo into depression, as is reflected in various songs throughout his career, including "Free" by Goodie Mob, songs on St. Elsewhere, and on The Odd Couple ("She Knows", "A Little Better"). Cee Lo also expresses his love for his mother in the song "Guess Who" from Goodie Mob's Soul Food album. In an excerpt of "Cee Lo Distilled", a mini documentary produced by Absolut and The Fader released on YouTube, Cee lo explained that his mother's death was a defining moment to "crossing that threshold over into a career".
Along with Big Gipp, T-Mo, and Khujo, Cee Lo was an original member of the Atlanta hip hop group Goodie Mob. He is the youngest of the four. The Goodie Mob were a part of the Atlanta rap collective the Dungeon Family, which also included OutKast. The group released their debut album, Soul Food in 1995. The album received much critical praise as a pioneering record for the then emerging Southern rap scene. It featured a distinctive soulful southern sound by production team Organized Noize, who had also produced OutKast's debut Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Cee Lo got considerable praise for his rapping and singing of hooks, particularly on the hit singles "Cell Therapy" and "Soul Food".
The group's second album, Still Standing came out in 1998 and also received much critical praise. Its commercial performance was slightly lower than the group's previous effort however. At this time, Cee Lo focused primarily on rapping over singing. While he did frequently sing hooks and did some singing, at this point he was a rapper first and foremost. Cee Lo took more creative control on the group's next album, World Party. Released in 1999, this album was more of a party record than the group's previous output, getting away somewhat from their socially conscious lyricism.
During the making of the album World Party, Cee Lo left the group to pursue a solo career under Arista and the remaining members continued to perform together under the Goodie Mob name with Koch Records. They did however collaborate in combinations in the Dungeon Family album Even in Darkness. Although the next Goodie Mob album seemed to mock Cee Lo with its title, One Monkey Don't Stop No Show, the group expressed that it was more of a jab at Arista and the music industry as a whole.
In 2005, Cee Lo and Big Gipp were both noted in interview. No title or release date have been given for the new project. The song "Hold On" from Big Boi of OutKast's Got Purp? Vol 2 album was the first newly recorded Goodie Mob song with all four members since World Party. (Khujo later revealed to fans at an album signing for his new album "Mercury", that the song "Hold On" was originally recorded in 1995 before Soul Food was released.)
In 1999, Cee Lo, credited as "Cee-Lo" was one of ten famous guest musicians who contributed to the highly successful Santana album Supernatural. Lauryn Hill wrote "Do You Like The Way," and the two of them trade off on lead vocals.
Cee Lo's Arista career was short-lived, as he was dropped after only two albums due to low record sales. His first album, Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections, was heavily in the vein of various other Dungeon Family releases, with southern soul/funk/jazz backings produced solely by himself and boasting appearances by fellow Dungeon Fam members Big Gipp and Backbone. The album explored his departure from Goodie Mob and his solo growth in the song "El Dorado Sunrise (Super Chicken)", as well as socio-political issues, and showcased his singing. The album did not sell very well, but Cee Lo achieved some airplay with the single "Closet Freak".
His second Arista album, Cee-Lo Green... Is the Soul Machine brought a more branched-out sound and more deeply explored southern rap music. This is evidenced by collaborations with Ludacris, T.I., and Pharrell Williams, as well as production from Timbaland, The Neptunes and Jazze Pha, among others. The only other Dungeon Family member that appeared on his second release was Big Rube. This album saw Cee Lo delve into other styles besides traditional rap. Timbaland proved to be Cee Lo's single producer as their song "I'll Be Around" received mild airplay. They performed the single on an episode in the second season of Chappelle's Show. "The One" featuring Jazze Pha and T.I. was also released as a single. On the heels of the success of Gnarls Barkley, Arista released a 17-track greatest hits collection of Cee Lo songs, Closet Freak: The Best of Cee-Lo Green the Soul Machine. It features predominantly Cee Lo solo tracks and several Goodie Mob songs. His new song "What Part of Forever" has been included in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
After his second solo album, Cee Lo joined the group Gnarls Barkley (see below) with Danger Mouse, temporarily putting his solo career on hold. He would release two albums with that group, before again releasing solo material in 2010.
On August 19, 2010, Cee Lo released the single "Fuck You!" to YouTube ahead of his planned solo album release, due to its partial leak on April 13. "Fuck You!" was an instant viral smash hit, registering over two million plays in less than a week. Two weeks later on September 1, Cee Lo released to YouTube an official music video of the song. "Fuck You" made a debut at No.1 on the UK charts, notably beating out "Shame" from the recently reunited Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow. On December 1, 2010, Cee Lo received five Grammy nominations for "Fuck You!", which has been certified Gold in the United States and Denmark. The single achieved platinum status in Canada, New Zealand, and the UK; and multi-platinum status in Australia.
When discussing his most recent album, The Lady Killer (released on November 9, 2010, by Elektra Records and Roadrunner Records), Cee Lo said: "I suppose this is a more clear, concise, consistent, conceptual, entire album. It's a complete thought, because it's written to be like a score. The album's meant to be a motion picture, you know? I've never taken that approach to doing an album before." The album was certified Gold in the UK on December 6, 2010.
Green is touring with an all-female backing band named "Scarlet Fever", performing for Taratata, the BBC, Late Show with David Letterman, W's Symmetry Live Concert Series, Saturday Night Live, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! special show following the Academy Awards, and many other venues. Green also performed "Forget You", a sanitized version of his hit "Fuck You", with Gwyneth Paltrow and several puppets provided by The Jim Henson Company at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards on February 13, 2011, a shoutout to Elton John, who wore a very similar costume in a Muppet show performance in 1977. At the 2011 BRIT Awards two days later, he was joined by British vocalist Paloma Faith in another duet of "Fuck You". Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Green will be joining Rihanna and J. Cole on the North American leg of Rihanna Loud Tour in the summer of 2011. However, he later dropped out of the tour citing that his busy work schedule which includes his commitment to judging “The Voice”, writing a new book and recording a new album as the reason for his withdrawal. On August 14, 2011, Green performed at WWE SummerSlam performing "Forget You" and the event's theme, "Bright Lights, Bigger City".
Cee Lo will be re-releasing his debut album The Lady Killer as a Platinum Edition on November 28, 2011. The repackaged album will contain the original 16 tracks (including remixed versions of Bright Lights Bigger City (feat. Wiz Khalifa) and I Want You (Hold On To Love) plus one extra track, written by Bruno Mars, Anyway. The new track, Anyway, will serve as the album's sixth overall single and first Platinum Edition single.
Along with DJ Danger Mouse, Cee Lo was part of a duo called Gnarls Barkley. They first met when Danger Mouse took second in a talent contest and opened for OutKast and Goodie Mob at a University of Georgia concert in 1998. Afterwards, Danger Mouse gave Cee Lo an instrumental demo tape and told him to call him if he was interested. They did not make contact again until Cee Lo was contacted to be featured in a remix of the Danger Mouse and Jemini song "What U Sittin' On?" from the album Ghetto Pop Life. They worked together again on the 2005 Danger Doom (Danger Mouse and MF Doom collaboration) album The Mouse and The Mask on the song "Benzi Box" where Cee Lo sings the chorus.
Gnarls Barkley's first collaborative album, St. Elsewhere, was released on April 24, 2006, in the UK and May 2, 2006, in the United States. St. Elsewhere entered the charts at No.1 in the UK, as did the first single "Crazy". "Crazy" is the first single to go straight to No.1 in the UK based on digital download sales alone and is ranked by Rolling Stone as the No.1 song of the decade. The album is Cee Lo's greatest selling venture yet, having shipped over 3 million copies in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan. A second album by Gnarls Barkley, titled The Odd Couple, was released in March 2008. Its first single was released in January called "Run (I'm a Natural Disaster)".
Cee Lo is collaborating with producer Jazze Pha to release an album called Happy Hour on Jazze’s record label. The songs "Happy Hour" (as well as the remix with Bun B, Snoop Dogg & Tone Tone), "Man of the Hour", and "Disco Bitch" (featuring The Pussycat Dolls) from the album have already been released as singles and B-sides. Jazze Pha has produced numerous hit singles with many artists, but this project is his rapping and singing debut. Cee Lo is co-producing the album with him, so both artist and producer share equal roles in vocals and production. Also, Melody Thornton confirmed that she is currently in the studio with Cee Lo working on her solo album. In 2010, he recorded a song for the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack which reached number 9 in the charts and was written by him and produced by T-Pain which is called "Language of Love". He along with The Red Hot Chili Peppers and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder were rumored to be appearing on British DJ Paul Oakenfold's upcoming album. Green will voiced Murray the Mummy in the upcoming film, Hotel Transylvania.
Television and film career
Cee Lo, along with the rest of the Goodie Mob, had a cameo in the 1999 film Mystery Men as a member of the Not So Goodie Mob, in which he was credited as "Thomas Burton aka Cee lo". He also has done voice acting work, voicing Prime Cut Miggity-Mo' Macdaddy Gizzabang Doggy Dog Dog on the Brak Show episode "Brakstreet" in 2002, Frank and Buddy Z Class of 3000's Christmas special and as Godzilla in the Robot Chicken episode "Squaw Bury Shortcake" in 2007, and Rev. Rollo Goodlove in the Boondocks episodes "The S-Word" and "The Hunger Strike" in 2008. In 2010, he appeared in T-Pain's Freaknik: The Musical as Light Skin.
Cee Lo is currently one of the coaches for contestants on the singing TV show The Voice. He also made a guest-star appearance in the episode "Tales From the Luncheonette" of Parenthood season 3.
Cee Lo was married to Christina Johnson until they divorced in 2005. Together they have a son Kingston; and Cee Lo was a stepfather to Christina's daughters, Sierra and Kalah. Sierra appeared on the MTV show My Super Sweet 16.
At the April 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Cee Lo was booed by fans after he showed up late, drew fan disapproval, had his set cut off, and then stormed off stage. Cee Lo had arrived 25 minutes late for which he apologized to disgruntled fans for his tardiness at the top of his set, saying, "Sorry guys, I just landed. Y'all still gonna party with me? I only have 20 minutes. It ain't my fault. They should have... given me a better time slot." Things then took a turn for the worse and after performing five songs including the “Fuck You” and a cover of Journey's “Don't Stop Believin' “, Green’s set was cut and then stormed off stage.
On June 16, 2011, journalist Andrea Swensson of City Pages negatively reviewed one of Green's performances, writing that it "failed to measure up to the fun factor of his recorded material. Green spent most of the set stationed in front of a microphone at the center of the stage, barely moving an inch while he sang and flanked by two forgettable back-up singers and a DJ that was all but hidden behind a giant LCD display”. In response, the following day Green tweeted "I respect your criticism but be fair! People enjoyed last night! I'm guessing ur gay? And my masculinity offended u? well fuck U!”. Green promptly received angered responses from some of his followers on Twitter, to which he replied "Apologies gay community! what was homophobic about that?" In a subsequent interview with magazine US Weekly Green stated that his comments were in good fun, adding that "I am not harboring any sort of negative feeling toward the gay community" and that "I am one of the most liberal artists that I think you will ever meet, and I pride myself on that". Green has since deleted the tweets pertaining to this review.
- Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections (2002)
- Cee-Lo Green... Is the Soul Machine (2004)
- The Lady Killer (2010)
Awards and nominations
Year Nominated work Award Result 2011 Himself Best Male R&B Artist Nominated
Billboard Music Awards
Year Nominated work Award Result 2011 Himself Viral Innovator of the Year Won
Year Nominated work Award Result 2011 The Lady Killer Best International Album Nominated Himself Best International Male Won
Year Nominated work Award Result 2007 "Crazy" Record of the Year Nominated Best Urban/Alternative Performance Won St. Elsewhere Album of the Year Nominated Best Alternative Music Album Won 2009 "Going On" Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals Nominated The Odd Couple Best Alternative Music Album Nominated 2011 "Forget You" Record of the Year Nominated Song of the Year Nominated Best Urban/Alternative Performance Won Best Short Form Music Video Nominated
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- ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (May 9, 2011). "Cee Lo adapts 'Forget You' for ode to firefighters. Now this is a tribute!". Entertainment Weekly. http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/05/09/cee-lo-adapts-forget-you-for-ode-to-firefighters-now-this-is-a-tribute/. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
- ^ rollingstone.com "The Acid Nerd Gangsters" (reprint of an interview originally published in Rolling Stone Magazine), published August 9, 2006
- ^ Chang, Jeff (April 6, 2008) "First Comes Crazy, Now Comes Odd" The New York Times.
- ^ Cee Lo Distilled Part 1, Youtube Mini Documentary released June 24, 2011
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- ^ Mapes, Jillian (September 22, 2010). Cee Lo Pushes Up 'The Lady Killer' Release Date to Nov. 9. Billboard. Retrieved on January 28, 2011.
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- ^ "British Phonographic Industry search results". British Phonographic Industry. http://www.bpi.co.uk/certifiedawards/search.aspx. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
- ^ "Taratata N°369". Taratata. Air Productions. September 21, 2010. http://video.mytaratata.com/video/iLyROoafZxh2.html. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- ^ "Live from Wembley Arena". 1Xtra. BBC. September 25, 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00twvpy. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
- ^ "Series 37, Episode 4". Later... with Jools Holland. BBC. October 8, 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v8rs8. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
- ^ "Cee-Lo Green Session". 1Xtra. BBC. October 26, 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vfhph. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
- ^ "Cee Lo in the Live Lounge". Live Lounge. BBC. November 3, 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/sessions/2010-11-03_ceelo. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
- ^ "Late Show with David Letterman". November 8, 2010. http://www.tv.com/late-show-with-david-letterman/late-show-with-david-letterman-11-08-2010/episode/1362973/summary.html. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
- ^ Goodman, Lizzy (November 12, 2010). "Cee-Lo Rocks Some Nasty Sh*t at New York City Party". Spin. http://www.spin.com/articles/cee-lo-rocks-some-nasty-sht-new-york-city-party. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
- ^ D. O’Garro, Felicia (November 12, 2010). "Cee Lo Green lights up New York City". Rap-Up. http://www.rap-up.com/2010/11/12/cee-lo-green-lights-up-new-york-city/. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
- ^ "Gwyneth Paltrow hosts Saturday Night Live with musical guest Cee Lo Green!". Saturday Night Live. NBC. January 15, 2011. http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/episodes/#vid=1270113/?__source=recent-eps-module. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
- ^ David, Valerie (January 18, 2011). "Gwyneth Paltrow & Cee Lo Green Are Game for Anything on 'Saturday Night Live'". http://omg.yahoo.com/news/gwyneth-paltrow-cee-lo-green-are-game-for-anything-on-saturday-night-live/54348. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
- ^ Video: Cee Lo Green Lights Up 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'. Rap-Up. February 28, 2011. http://www.rap-up.com/2011/02/28/video-cee-lo-green-lights-up-jimmy-kimmel-live/. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- ^ "Cee Lo Green Takes Flight With Gwyneth Paltrow and The Muppets". Celebrity Circuit. CBS News. February 13, 2011. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20031723-10391698.html. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
- ^ "Brit awards 2011: Stars walk the red carpet at O2 Arena". Newsbeat. BBC. February 16, 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/12478297. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
- ^ "WOW! At Paloma & Cee-Lo". February 16, 2011. http://www.palomafaith.com/gb/news/article/wow_at_paloma_cee_lo/. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- ^ "Cee-Lo added to Rihanna's 'Loud' tour". MSN News. Microsoft Corporation. February 18, 2011. http://music.msn.com/music/article.aspx?news=630527. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
- ^ Date: 6/25/2011 8:32:36 AM (2011-06-25). "Cee-Lo Green Drops Out of Rihanna's LOUD Tour". Singersroom.com. http://www.singersroom.com/news/7250/Cee-Lo-Green-Drops-Out-of-Rihannas-LOUD-Tour. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- ^ Cee Lo Green - The LadyKiller - CD. "Cee Lo Green - The Lady Killer (Platinum Edition) CD". TheHut.com. http://www.thehut.com/cd/cee-lo-green/the-lady-killer-platinum-edition/10550618.html. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- ^ "Information Not Found". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/news/red-hot-chili-peppers-ryan-tedder-cee-lo-1004087906.story?tag=hpfeed#/news/red-hot-chili-peppers-ryan-tedder-cee-lo-1004087906.story?tag=hpfeed. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
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- ^ "Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine Named Coaches of ‘The Voice'". Broadcastingcable.com. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/464541-Cee_Lo_Green_Adam_Levine_Named_Coaches_of_The_Voice_.php. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
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- ^ Parvizi, Lauren. "Cee Lo Green developed 'thick skin' from tough teen years". Sfgate.com. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/dailydish/detail?entry_id=85781. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- ^ LALATE (April 17, 2011). "Cee Lo Green Coachella Performance Cut Short, Leaves Stage". http://news.lalate.com/2011/04/17/cee-lo-green-coachella-performance-cut-short-leaves-stage/.
- ^ Alison Maxwell, USA TODAY (April 17, 2011). "Cee Lo Green's set cut short at Coachella". http://content.usatoday.com/communities/entertainment/post/2011/04/cee-lo-greens-set-cut-short-at-coachella/1.
- ^ Swensson, Andrea (2011-06-17). "Rihanna and Cee Lo Green at the Target Center, 6/16/11 - Minneapolis Music - Gimme Noise". Blogs.citypages.com. http://blogs.citypages.com/gimmenoise/2011/06/rihanna_cee_lo_green_review.php. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- ^ "Pictures of 20 funniest music feuds of 2011 - Photos". Nme.Com. 2011-07-28. http://www.nme.com/photos/20-funniest-music-feuds-of-2011/227275/1/1#12. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- ^ LGBTQ Nation (2011-06-19). "Cee Lo Green’s homophobic tweet: ‘I shouldn’t have to apologize’ – LGBTQ Nation". Lgbtqnation.com. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/06/cee-lo-greens-homophobic-tweet-i-shouldnt-have-to-apologize/. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- ^ "The Voice's Cee Lo Green Addresses "Homophobic" Tweet Controversy". UsMagazine.com. 2011-06-18. http://www.usmagazine.com/moviestvmusic/news/the-voices-cee-lo-green-addresses-homophobic-tweet-controversy-2011186. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- Official website
- Cee-Lo discography at Discogs
- Cee Lo Green at the Internet Movie Database
- Cee Lo Green on BBC Music
- Official Jazze Pha & Cee Lo website
- Cee Lo Green Storytellers on VH1
- Cee-Lo Documentary on Youtube Part 1
- Cee-Lo Documentary on Youtube Part 2
Cee Lo Green Studio albums Compilation albumsCloset Freak: The Best of Cee Lo Green the Soul Machine Singles Featured singles Related articles Gnarls BarkleyCee Lo • Danger Mouse Studio albums Singles Related articles Members See also Hosts Coaches WinnerJavier Colon Winner's song"Stitch by Stitch" FinalistsVicci Martinez · Dia Frampton · Beverly McClellan Notable contestants Related articles Judges WinnerJavier Colon FinalistsTeam Christina: Raquel Castro · Frenchie Davis · Julia Eason · Lily Elise · Justin Grennan · Beverly McClellan · Cherie Oakley · Tarralyn Ramsey
Team Cee-Lo: Tje Austin · Niki Dawson · Curtis Grimes · Vicci Martinez · Nakia · Kelsey Rey · Tori and Taylor Thompson · Emily Valentine
Team Adam: Devon Barley · Javier Colon · Casey Desmond · Jeff Jenkins · Rebecca Loebe · Tim Mahoney · Casey Weston · Angela Wolff
Team Blake: Jared Blake · Elenowen · Dia Frampton · Sara Oromchi · Tyler Robinson · Serabee · Patrick Thomas · Xenia
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