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Mavado Nicki Minaj

Mavado, Chronixx and Tessanne among 2014 IRAWMA winners

Mavado Nicki MinajTop Jamaican musicians, Chronixx, Tessanne Chin and Sean Paul were among the big winners at the 33rd International Reggae and Worl Music Awards (IRAWMA) which took place in Florida last weekend.

Chronixx took home a pair of awards on the night, including Best Song for Smile Jamaica and Best Music Video for Here Comes Trouble while Chin took home the Best Female Vocalist crown and Sean Paul was named Best Caribbean Entertainer.

Like Chronixx, Tarrus Riley took home a pair of honours, including Best Male Vocalist and Most Cultural/Educational Entertainer while Ziggy Marley won the Best Album award for his most recent album, Fly RastaShaggy and Queen Ifrika took home the honours of Best Male and Female DJ/Rapper of the Year respectively.

Other notable winners on the night were American Reggae band, Soja who nabbed the Entertainer of The Year and Best Reggae Rock Entertainer while Mavado won the Best Crossover Song award for Give It All To Me featuring American rap sensation, Nicki Minaj. Reggae stalwart, Capleton won the Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award while Mykal Rose was one of three lifetime achievement award winners on the night.

Check out the full list of winners here.

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Why “Talent Shows” can hurt our artists more than they help

BY: Jodee Brown

Magnum Kings and Queens reduced to mainstream peasants, Rising Stars fading away not long after shining high above their competitors, people following the Tastee Talent Trail getting lost on their path to greater successes.

These have been the all-too-familiar themes with artists graduating from Jamaica’s most popular talent shows, looking to take that next level into stardom. While it must be acknowledged that these outlets have undoubtedly helped bring acclaim otherwise anonymous careers, helping them to get closer the brink of realizing their potential, it can be argued that these weekly shows designed to help properly push artists into the spotlight are inadvertently pulling them away from the heights they hope to achieve.

Magnum Kings and Queens is arguably Jamaica’s most popular talent show at the moment, headed by its superstar judges, Cordel ‘Skatta’ Burrell, Professor Nuts, Khadine ‘Miss Kitty’ Hylton and show host, Yanique Barrett, who, like a lot of artists who audition for the show was a relative novice herself. You could argue the self-professed ‘Curvaceous Diva’ is the biggest star the show has ever produced in terms of mainstream appeal and success considering none of the 14 winners of MKQ have gone on to earth-shattering success following the show.

The most prominent of the bunch have been current JCDC Festival song winner, Deep Jahi, season six winner, Jonnah and Baby Tash, the first diva to win back in 2008 and while each of them have earned a modicum of success and possess capabilities of greater things, each of them still find themselves yearning for the acclaim they strove to achieve when entering the competition in the first place. Other past winners such as Hurricane, Singer Jah, Press Fyah and Nioma have largely been absent from the spotlight since and in some cases, like former winner Poor and Boasy, when they do garner media attention, it’s not necessarily for the reasons we hoped.

Anytime someone brings up Digicel Rising Stars, Christopher Martin and Romain Virgo and to a lesser extent, Shuga are names brought up when talking about the competition, and still are considering since the latter won in 2009, few remember the names of the competition winners since. Even fewer can tell you who have won Tastee Talent Trail since Nadine Sutherland won the competition’s inception in 1979. Just look on the winners list and see if you even have heard of one of these names.

Winning any talent show is certainly a blessing in terms of the musical and financial benefit garnered from earning such status. But on the journey to said status, you’re basically exposed. Particularly on MKQ, where week after week, artists are asked to sing their own material in the hopes of winning approval from the crowd and judges just to advance, one’s entire catalogue can be put out there just for the sake of winning the million dollar prize, thus leaving their proverbial think tanks with little fuel. Once it’s all said and done, expectations attached to any post-show material that comes out are sky-high given how good their songs performed on the show were to get them that fans. In fact, it’s somewhat better if you don’t win, like in the cases of Beenie Man, King Yellow Man, T.O.K and more recently, Laden, Specialist and Jah Bouks where they don’t have the burden of winning on their backs, thus reducing expectation once having moved on from these shows and garnering as many, if not more plaudits for original material after the fact.

Furthermore, once these artists have conquered their battles on these respective shows, they are basically like college students; graduating with honours and left to fend for themselves in the real world, and as well all know, the real (music) world is a cutthroat industry. Despite the advice judges provide show by show, one can help but wonder if said judges and their connections within the entertainment world can do further to prepare these winners for the pros and cons of the industry; providing outlets train them further to help them fine tune their vocals or lyrical content for the bigger stages and so on because even after the fact, a lot of these winning contestants are still far from the finished article as musicians.

Even in the case of our most celebrated talent show winner, Tessanne Chin, who won season five of The Voice, you also have to wonder whether her run on the show did her more harm than good. Undoubtedly, without this international platform and the coaching she received from award-winning musician, Adam Levine, she would still be the same highly underrated, rarely acknowledged songstress she was prior to her journey last fall. It changed her career for the better as people finally got to see the God-given ability and excellence most of us knew she possessed.

On the contrary, you do wonder if that exposure was just as much of a hindrance as it was help solely due to the fact Chin’s major label debut album, Count on My Love failed to connect in the way most were hoping. While blame should be assigned to the label’s seemingly modest promotion of her record (Walmart? Really?), and the fact it offered a change of pace from what we saw from her week by week on the Voice stage, once people got a dose of her unique ‘yard-flavour’ mixed with tastes of rock, pop and soul on the show – few Jamaican artists fuse genres better than her – people were hungry for more of the same. Once you use a particular formula to win a talent competition, music lovers will logically want you to continue using that formula at the next level to greater success and will feel let down if otherwise. More times than not, it does not work like that, either because said formula will eventually run its course with the public eventually or, in her case, the artist decides to switch it up a bit in an attempt to reach a new audience. It’s a can’t win situation regardless.

Now of course, these points are being made excluding other mitigating factors: What the personal situation of the winner is, personal desire or motivation to make it big in the industry, assembling the right team to work with. All of those things are certainly important. But once you are on a talent show, there’s no hiding, no ‘out of nowhere’ stories and your life’s work is pretty much being judged on the spot, thus regardless of whether an artist wins, that artist’s confidence will either soar or be shattered depending on how they were rated by the judges and patrons who watched on.

Without question, talent shows have served a great purpose. But just Jay-Z’s album, once your blueprint is out there for the world to see, such an outlet can be a gift and a curse all in one.


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Tessanne Chin album review

876-411 Review show – Tessanne Chin album review and Miss Jamaica World controversy

Tessanne Chin album reviewCheck out episode 12 of the Jamaican entertainment and pop culture review show, 876-411, hosted by Marc Brown.

In today’s episode, we review the new album from former ‘The Voice’ winner, Tessanne Chin, and talk about the controversy surrounding the winner of the 2014 Miss Jamaica World pageant.

Check out this episode and more on our official YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPPS4uRK1AT4kxvMNzD0_qA

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Tessanne Chin album

Tessanne Chin releases cover art for new album set for July 1 release

Tessanne Chin albumAcclaimed Jamaican songstress, Tessanne Chin has released the official cover art for her upcoming studio album, Count on my Love, which will now hit shelves on July 1.

Chin unveiled the cover for her fans on her Instagram page Thursday, telling her fans, “I’m so excited to share this with all of you. I finally feel like we are one step closer.”

Count on my Love is Chin’s second studio album and first since winning season five of The Voice last December, with the album produced and distributed by her label, Republic Records, a label under the Universal Music Group imprint. Chin has released two singles from the album; Tumbling Down last December and Everything Reminds Me of You in May. The album was initially due to be released on June 24, but was switched to July 1 for undisclosed reasons.

The project features production from Supa Dups, Rock City, Diane Warren, Toby Gad and several more. Additionally, Count on my Love can now be pre-ordered on iTunes ahead of the official release.

Chin is set to perform at Reggae Sumfest in mid-July and will be going on a nationwide tour in the United States with fellow season five cast mates of The Voice.

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Tessanne Chin Shaggy and Friends

Tessanne Chin confirmed for Reggae Sumfest 2014

Tessanne Chin Shaggy and FriendsJamaican songstress and reigning The Voice winner, Tessanne Chin has become the first artist named to the Reggae Sumfest 2014 lineup, with organizers on Wednesday confirming that an agreement has been for her to perform on the show.

Johnny Gourzong, head of the show’s organizing team, Summerfest Productions said the agreement to add Chin to the lineup came months before she won the NBC talent show last December.

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Shaggy and Friend 2014

Shaggy and Friends 2014 deemed strong success

Shaggy and Friend 2014Hats off to Team Shaggy and Friends. The momentum of such a worthy event began to build days after the announcement that Jamaica’s‘ songbird Tessanne Chin was crowned winner of the 5th season of NBCs The Voice . After the announcement of her win, Shaggy and his team immediately announced the full line up of his annual charity event for Bustamante Children Hospital.

Shaggy went on a media campaign along with some of the many artists who contributed their time and energy for this cause. For three weeks straight Shaggy and Friends were on local morning television programs, local and international radio letting the people know they Dare them to Care.

Immediately, the slogan Dare to Care took to social media and we began to receive word TWO week before the event that platinum tickets were sold out! As Team Shaggy and Friends continued the campaign, requests from ticket outlets began to pour in for re-stock of tickets and Shaggy began to realize that the movement was on.

 “I always know it harder for one man to achieve anything alone. As they say it takes a village to raise a child and we decided it takes a nation to save our children” says Shaggy.

It was now hours before showtime and stage, lights and cameras were all in place. The traffic towards Jamaica House was bumper to bumper and by 6:50 p.m. the patrons began filling the venue.While the patrons were filling the venue sponsors and #teamshaggy4kids took the party to social media and garnered over 3 million imprints by using hash tag #teamshaggy4kids and generating over 2 million streaming viewers from all over the world, which generated more donations. Social media was excited and The Jamaica House was filled and it was showtime, which started promptly at 8 p.m.

The beautiful Carlene Davis, took to the stage and paid tribute to Nelson Mandela and then performed a few gospel songs to remind the audience what the night was all about.  It was now time for ‘Si Martin Yah’, Christopher Martin who gave a short yet solid set. The night continued with stellar performance from Elephant Man, Wayne Marshall, his son GioMar, Agent Sasco, Trinidad sensation Kes and the Band, Dancehall sensation Konshens, International Super Star Neyo, Chronixx, Sean Paul, Tarrus Riley with surprise performance from Jah Cure and Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley,  Sean Paul and I-Octane.

Yet the time everyone waited for was ‘The Voice’ Tessanne Chin, who gave an impeccable performance with her band while giving the crowd some of her classics and some of the songs she performed on The Voice. Tessanne later introduced a fellow Voice contestant Mathew Schuler, who won over the crowd as he sung Hallelujah and a Wayne Wonder Cover of No Letting Go.

Tessanne would return in true star fashion with a wardrobe change and take the crowd with her as she sung a crowd favorite Hideaway.

The night was just superb, the efforts of a true visionary and man with a genuine heart was reflected by the magnitude of the crowd and by the efforts of everyone on his team.

 “I cannot take all the compliments without saying, Thank You to my team, Rebecca Packer and Team Shaggy and Friends, you all are truly amazing. To all media houses we thank you. To my friends and artists who took the time out of your schedule for the kids, hats off to you and to everyone who donated, your contributions will save lives, and most of all to our sponsors, Thank You!

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Tessanne Chin The Voice winner

2013 Year in Review: The best songs, artists and stories in Jamaican music

Tessanne Chin The Voice winnerAfter a 2012 which saw Jamaica return to the roots of its music during its 50th anniversary year, the majority of 2013 proved to be a major letdown and appeared to be heading for irrelevancy within the pantheon on memorable Jamaican periods. That is, until a certain sparkly 28-year-old singer reminded everyone that our music still has a very long shelf-life, if attention is focused on the right channels.

Tessanne Chin added a much needed boost to what was a mostly ordinary year within Jamaican music and entertainment. From a downsizing of hit songs, to increasingly poor album sales in the United States, to undying scrutiny regarding lyrical content and party regulations, these were trying times for artists and music lovers alike in 2013.

Nevertheless, we try to look on the brighter side of things in our music. With that said, check out this very detailed review looking at the songs, artists and news makers that made Jamaican music interesting in 2013. Feel free to comment below if you agree or disagree with these picks.

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Tessanne Year In Review

876-411 (Episode 4) – Year In Review Show

Tessanne Year In ReviewThis is the fourth episode of our new, weekly entertainment review show, 876-411, which takes a look at all the hot topics in Jamaican music, entertainment and pop culture, hosted by Marc Parc and Jodz.

Tonight’s episode looks at the highlights and lowlights of STING 2013, plus our year in review, looking at the songs, artists and newsmakers that made our entertainment scene interesting in 2013.

For more about 876-411, check out the official Facebook page for more: https://www.facebook.com/RAYKINGlive for more details.

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Tessanne Chin The Voice

Tessanne Chin makes Billboard again

Tessanne Chin The VoiceThe Voice: Season Five winner, Tessanne Chin has once again earned recognition from music’s most established chart as Billboard magazine now features two more songs from the Jamaican sensation, according to reports Friday.

After peaking on the Billboard Top 100 chart at 64 with her rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water during The Voice semifinal, Chin has outdone herself once again by placing at number 51 for a similarly masterful performance of Whitney Houston’s classic, I Have Nothing in the final.

Additionally, her performance of Let It Be with coach,Adam Levine has entered the chart at number 76. Both songs are also featured on Billboard’s Heatseekerschart, with I Have Nothing topping the chart while Let It Be is seventh.

Meanwhile, Chin’s new single, Tumbling Down, written by One Republic’s Ryan Tedder could enter the Billboard charts as early as next week, according to reports. The song has been heavily promoted and was performed during her media blitz in the United States following her victory on The Voice, including on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live with Kelly and Michael and Access Hollywood Live.

Her new album is expected to be in stores early next year.

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Tessanne Chin The Voice

Tessanne Chin – “I Just Want To Be A Wife”

Tessanne Chin The VoiceTessanne Chin has been pursuing music since she was in diapers in her native Jamaica, where her family even has a recording studio in their home. But the newly crowned winner of The Voice has more domestic aspirations on top of launching her musical career.

“There’s a music side of me and a dreamer, but really I just want to be a wife,” the gorgeous singer tells the New York Daily News.

The singer has talked a lot about her husband of two years, Michael Cuffe, throughout the season, and the affection she feels for him was easy to see. Michael was her biggest fan throughout the process, and Tessanne even joked about the fact that his reaction to her winning was bigger than hers.

“I think his reaction trumped mine,” she said about that fateful moment Carson Daly called her name. “He’s the best. He’s my rock.”

And, although she’s going to go gangbusters on her music career for now, she admits that domestic bliss is also a goal. In fact, she wants to own a farm back in Jamaica!

“Not a big farm, but I love animals and the thought of growing my own food,” she said.

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Tessanne Chin wins The Voice

Tessanne Chin wins season five of The Voice

Tessanne Chin wins The VoiceIt is fitting that Tessanne Chin’s handle on the popular picture-sharing website, Instagram is ‘TheBesTess,’ because after pulling off one of the most incredible renditions of a Whitney Houston song in recent memory and showing exemplary humility throughout her run on The Voice, she has painted an image of excellence and grace that has ever graced a talent show stage.

That image is now worth a lot more than 1,000 words, as the 28-year-old Jamaican singer took home the title on the season five finale of the American talent show on Tuesday night, pocketing US$100,000 and a recording contract with a major U.S. label. The result, which also made Adam Levine the winning coach on the show, was confirmed following a two-hour season finale, featuring a number of performances including all the season’s contestants, as well as guest performances by the likes ofLady Gaga, Ne-Yo, Paramore and many more.

The standout performance of the night, however, was from Tessanne, who received the opportunity to sing with legendary singer and idol, Celine Dion, causing her to hysterically burst into tears as she tried to channel the shock. That nervous energy, however, was translated into the typical vocal brilliance she displayed throughout the competition, performing Love Can Move Mountainsalongside the Grammy-winning musician, with both clearly enjoying themselves and giving a display of pure musical talent.

As surprising as that performance was, it was a fitting follow-up to her final live performance show set on Monday night, as she competed against eventual runner-up, Jacqueline Lee and second runner-up, Will Champlin for top spot on The Voice. After singing her rendition of the song which got her in the competition in the first place – Pink’s Try – and performing a sumptuous duet of The Beatles’ Let It Be with Levine,Chin was handed the toughest of tests – Whitney Houston’s classic, I Have Nothing.

Given Houston was one of the greatest singers to ever grace the world, Chin would no doubt be judged by the highest of standards by music lovers and judges alike. But after showing fluency and vocal clarity that few singers possess, Tessanne not only performed to that standard, but had the audience and judges in shock, wondering if she had a ceiling, as Levine pointed out during his post-performance commentary.It was the stuff of legend that even had the likes of Piers Morgan speaking Jamaican patois and later earned her asecond straight number one on the overall iTunes chart.

Locals packed Half-Way-Tree in Kingston during the finale, reminiscent of last year’s Olympic Games in London, and erupted with joy and relief once Tessanne’s name was announced, and everyone from top local musicians, media personnel and high ranking politicians congratulated her from her efforts.

Where Tessanne Chin will go from here is unknown and how Jamaican music will capitalize on this victory remains unclear, but those pictures will be painted over time, everyone can only hope this artist continues to create masterpieces as her career blossoms.

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Tessanne Chin Interviewed on Good Day LA

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Tessanne The Voice semi-final

Tessanne Chin marches on to ‘The Voice’ semifinal

Tessanne The Voice semi-final

Tessanne Chin’s desire to become the first Jamaican musician to win an American music talent show is another step closer to being fulfilled after advancing the semi-final round of The Voice thanks to two top quality performances.

The gentle songstress is now in the top five, receiving the third most votes overall following renditions of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song and Katy Perry’s Unconditional. The former earned Tessanne top spot amongst her compatriots on the iTunes chart for the first time, peaking at 15th on the overall chart, while Unconditionally finished sixth.

She joins teammates, Wil Champlin and James Wolpert, who was saved by the ‘instant save feature near the end of the show at the expense of Matthew Schuler, the fan favorite being tutored by pop sensation, Christina Aguilera. This means that coach and rock superstar, Adam Levine has a commanding advantage going into the final shows on Dec. 16 and 17, guaranteeing that he will have a protégé on said finals with three of the remaining five contestants under his tutelage.

Jacqueline Lee (Team Christina) copped the most overall votes while Cole Vosbury (Team Blake) finished second.

Chin’s rendition of Redemption Song was undoubtedly a hit with the crowd as she performed the the song in a higher octave and was heralded by many observers as the performance of the night

However, it was her performance of Unconditional that garnered the biggest compliment of the night from judge, Blake Shelton who said, “You are a world-class vocalist and I think that’s what people should be talking about. I haven’t seen anything quite like you on this show.”

Tessanne will perform twice on Monday’s semi-final, where three of the top five will advance to the final the following Monday.



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Tessanne Chin Top 6

Tessanne soars to top six on ‘The Voice’

Tessanne Chin Top 6Jamaican songstress, Tessanne Chin continues to reinvent herself and her sound with each passing show, and her transformational efforts were once again rewarded as she advanced into the top six of NBC’s hit talent show, The Voice Tuesday night after once again tapping into her roots by performing a chart-topping Reggae fusion classic.

Chin moves on along with fellow Team Adam mates, Wil Champlin and James Wolpert, leaving Adam Levine as the only coach with all of his protégés still alive in the round. Cole Vosbury of Team Blake (coached by Blake Shelton)and Jacqueline Lee of Team Christina (coached by Christina Aguilera) also advanced through the initial round of votes while Lee’s teammate, Matthew Schuler moved on thanks to the ‘instant save’ feature.

This meant Ray Boudreaux (Team Blake) and show favorite, Caroline Pennell (Team Cee’Lo) were sent home, the latter’s elimination leaving coach, Cee’Lo Green with no more artists on his team.

Having shown off her versatility by mastering Reggae, pop and soul music, Tessanne Chin dipped into the sound which made her a star in Jamaica in the mid-2000s, going Reggae fusion with Underneath It All, the Grammy-winning single by rock band, No Doubtand the ‘Queen of Dancehall,’ Lady Saw.

Monday night’s performance allowed viewers to witness Tessanne in her most natural element, singing a smooth higher-pitched version of Gwen Stefani’s spots in the song before deejaying Lady Saw’s part and moving her hips, showcasing a pure island style of performing. Christina Aguilera in particular pointed this out in her assessment of Tessanne’s stellar performance, saying she finally saw who she truly was in her musical element.

Intensity will surely be at an all-time high next week on The Voice as the top six vie for four spots on next week Monday’s live show, which means Tessanne and her compatriots will have to step up their games much higher to guarantee a spot on the penultimate show of season five.

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Tessanne The Voice Top 8

Tessanne safely through to ‘The Voice’ top eight

Jamaican singing sensation, Tessanne Chin is now one of the final eight on season five of NBC’s hit talent show, The Voice after surviving a tense results show Tuesday night.

Tessanne The Voice Top 8One of the favorites to win the competition, Chin had to sweat it out as her compatriot on Adam Levine’s team, James Tolbert received the most fan votes of all the top 10 contestants while fellow teammate, Wil Champlin finished with the fourth most votes.

After being made to wait for half the show, Tessanne’s name was finally called by show host, Carson Daly after receiving the fifth most votes for her performance Monday night.

Said performance during the top 10 live performance show saw Chin take on Gladys Knight and the Pips’ soulful classic, If I Were Your Woman. The lower octave tone of the song proved no sticking point for the Jamaican songstress, as her range and transitions throughout verses were relatively smooth.

Competition on season five of The Voice promises to become even more intense going forward, meaning Tessanne will have to step up her game that much more. The unpredictable nature voting also will be a factor to pay attention to as proven when Caroline Pennell, the multi-talented 17-year-old prodigy mentored by Cee’Lo Green, went from receiving the most votes on the show last week to being saved by a last-minute fan vote near the end of Tuesday night’s show.

The top eight on The Voice will perform on next Monday as they compete for the final six spots, which will be revealed the following night.

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Tessanne The Voice

Tessanne advances to last 12 of ‘The Voice’

Tessanne The Voice Jamaicans are breathing a collective sigh of relief today as multi-talented songstress, Tessanne Chin has advanced to the final 12 of BC’s hit talent show, The Voice.

The Kingston-born singer was one of two from her team headed by coach Adam Levine voted past the first phase of the live performance round, joining American singer, James Wolpert. Both Chin and Wolpert were spared of the agony of being amongst the three singers left to face Levine, as he was left with the choice of choosing between Preston Pohl, Will Champlin and Grey.

Ultimately, it was Champlin who received the vote of confidence from Levine to move on.

Tessanne earned her votes following a moving, high octave performance of Many Rivers To Cross, the classic single by her mentor, Jimmy Cliff. She was considered by many analysts to be the headline performer of the night during her set Monday. Additionally, her rendition of Cliff’s song charted as high as 27th on the iTunes charts prior to the end of voting Tuesday morning.

The Top 12 will perform on Nov. 11 and Nov. 12 respectively as they compete for ten spots in the next phase of the live performance phase.

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