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It’s Electric Picnic weekend and instead of prancing around a field to The 1975, I will be staying at home and sulking like a toddler because I left it too late to get a ticket.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom as I’ve got a reading list the length of my arm to get through. I’ve picked five of my top reads for those of you who are going to be stuck at home whilst half the country descends upon Stradbally.

Why not avoid the never-ending EP posts on Instagram by reading one of these books?

1. Hold Your Heart by Karen Gregory (Bloomsbury)

You’re never too old for a glorious coming-of-age story. I Hold Your Heart follows the love story of Gemma and Aaron, but when does love become possession? 

When Gemma meets Aaron, she feels truly seen for the first time. Their love story is the intense kind. The written-in-the-stars, excluding-all-others kind. The kind you write songs about. But little by little their relationship takes over Gemma’s life. What happens when being seen becomes being watched, and care becomes control?

2. Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard (Harper Collins)

Nobody writes a crime story quite like Catherine Ryan Howard. Her latest release Rewind is bound to grip your attention from the very first page.

Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages witnesses the murder of his only guest via a hidden camera in her room, but when the killer destroys the camera, Andrew questions how he will live with himself. And can’t help but question who is the killer?

Rewind is a tense tale about a murder caught on camera, but you’ve already missed the start. To discover the murderer you must rewind the tape and watch it until the very end, no matter how terrifying the footage.

3. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (Penguin)

I recently watched the movie adaption of this book and it is nothing compared to Nicola Yoon’s phenomenal story. It's safe to say The Sun Is Also a Star is by far one of the greatest YA books of our time.

The Sun Is Also a Star follows Natasha as she fights to stop her family being deported from New York to Jamaica. Natasha doesn’t believe in destiny, fate or love at first sight, but then she meets Daniel, a budding poet who is living the life his parents want him to lead. Daniel believes he can make Natasha fall in love with him in a few hours, but can he change the mind of the girl who believes in science,not fate?

4. Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (Harper Collins)

Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb are the most delightful duo in the literary world. Their book Last Christmas in Paris will forever hold a special place in my heart so I was unbelievably excited to hear about the release of Meet Me In Monaco.

Their latest tale whisks the reader away to 1950s Cannes for the iconic film festival. The mesmerising tale features not one but two love stories, including one of the iconic Grace Kelly who married Prince Rainier III. The other love story follows that of struggling perfumer Sophie Duval and British photographer James Henderson. The two couples may live incredibly different lives, but they are all asking the same question- What are they prepared to give up for love?

5. For Ava by Vera Twomey (Mercier)

To what lengths would you go to give your sick child the chance of a better life?

When Very Twomey’s daughter, Ava, is diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that causes frequent and often life-threatening seizures, the family’s life is thrown into chaos.

As prescribed drug after prescribed drug fails, and the medical system all but gives up on her daughter, a potential new treatment comes to light: medical cannabis. Illegal in Ireland, Vera vows to do whatever it takes to ensure that her daughter gets access to this potentially life-saving treatment. Whether it’s protesting and campaigning across the country, walking hundreds of miles to the country’s seat of power, breaking the law, or even confronting a government minister face to face- Vera Twomey will do it all for Ava.

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When The 1975 played their incredible headline set at Reading and Leeds Festival over the weekend, many fans noticed that there was one notable person missing from the crowd.

Frontman Matty Healy has reportedly been dumped by long-term girlfriend Gabriella Brooks as a result of his party-boy lifestyle, according to The Sun.

The stunning model recently moved out of the pair's North London home. The former couple went public in 2017 at the Brit Awards but fans reckon they've been dating for four years.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gabriella Brooks (@gabriella_brooks) on

Gabriella stuck by Matty after he underwent treatment for heroin addiction in rehab two years ago, but has decided to end things for good.

Gabby has been getting support from her pal Anais Gallagher, the daughter of Oasis rocker Noel Gallagher, since the heartbreaking split.

A source said: “Matty is great when he’s on form but he isn’t the easiest person to be with and leads a very unconventional life"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“There has been a lot of strain on their relationship, not helped by him being on tour a lot this year. He parties a lot at home when he’s there and Gabby had just had enough. She doesn’t want to lead her life like that.”

The band released their punk new song People last week in which he sings: “I’m just gonna get girls, food, gear. I don’t like going outside, so bring me everything here.”

He opened up about his battles with heroin in 2018, saying that Gabby was “incredibly wise and incredibly beautiful” he had “still risked it” despite knowing how much he had to lose.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The group will spend September performing throughout Asia, Australia and New Zealand before heading  on tour across America in November and December.

The 1975 are set to release their fourth collection, Notes On A Conditional Form, in February. He sounds fairly booked up, but we'll see him on Saturday at Electric Picnic to cheer him up.

Feature image: Instagram/@mattyugh

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Heineken Ireland have announced the final stage times for the 'Live Your Music' stage at Electric Picnic, and yet another international headline act. 

We are being well and truly spoiled by EP this year, and we are delighted to announce that Maya Jane Coles is your latest headliner.

The British music producer and DJ is best known for her massive techno beats, as well as her skills for writing, producing, arranging, mixing, artwork design and performing all elements of her tracks.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Coles is a hugely exciting addition to the Heineken 'Live Your Music' line-up. She's played gigs at the Tate Modern and was even sampled by the Duchess of rap, Nicki Minaj herself. Her CV is top quality, basically.

The stellar line-up of artists include German DJ and producer Tensnake, London production duo Dusky; homegrown talent Erica-Cody, PrYmary Colours and George Feely.

There's also an Ibiza Classics set incoming from Live Your Music legend Davey B, karaoke fun with the hilarious Sing Along Social and floor fillers from Live Your Music resident DJ Marcus O’Laoire. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Heineken 'Live Your Music' Lounge can be accessed by EP's Heineken 'Live Your Music' members if you need to rest the legs and have a cold brewsky before returning to the festival dancefloor.

For the chance to win tickets, access to exclusive areas and events, and to discover music that moves you sign up to Heineken 'Live Your Music' online here.

Electric Picnic is almost here, taking place at Stradbally in County Laois from August 30 until September 1.

Feature image: Instagram/@mayajanecolesofficial

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Electric Picnic may not kick off until September, but you can be sure that the build-up of anticipation begins long before then, especially when they announce cracking new acts.

Joining huge names such as Florence and the Machine, Hozier, The Strokes, Billie Eilish and The 1975 are chart-topping Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Cinnamon, Charli XCX making her EP debut and grime rapper J Hus.

Electronica DJ Richie Hawtin was also added to the list, as well as Johnny Marr and Richard Ashcroft. Ireland's biggest music and arts festival is about to get a whole lot more incredible.

There are just six weeks left of waiting until the most beloved weekend of music, art, food and spoken word kicks off. The full list of new acts includes;

Gerry Cinnamon, Johnny Marr, J Hus, Charli XCX, Richie Hawtin, Richard Ashcroft, All Tvvins, Biig Piig, Brittany Howard, Cassia, David Keenan, Declan J Donovan, DJ Seinfeld, Duff McKagan, Easy Life, Eve, Fjaak, Girl in Red, Ider, Inhaler, Just Mustard, Kettama, Le Boom, Maverick Sabre, Mella Dee, Otherkin, Powpig, Rebūke, Rob de Boer, Silverbacks, Soja, Somebody’s Child, Sports Team, Talos, Uly, Viagra Boys, White Reaper, Wild Youth, Working Men’s Club and Yonaka.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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After seeing British rock band Yonaka at Sea Sessions, we can't recommend them enough. With a badass lead singer and an album full of bangers, they're ones to watch.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Alt-rock band Inhaler are also on the rise, featuring Bono's son as the lead singer of the indie four-some.

Irish-English rapper Maverick Sabre also adds another level of Irish musicianship to the billing, what a talented man.

Born in Hackney, his family moved to Wexford when he was a youngster and grew up following singer-songwriter rappers like Plan B.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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With The Body & Soul Village, The Hazel Wood ready for raving and the best food stalls in Ireland preparing themselves for the festival; It's set to be the best EP yet,

Unfortunately, tickets for the festival are totally sold out, but you may get lucky and nab a last minute ticket to this outrageously talent-packed festival?

Worth it to get a glimpse of Billie Eilish's hair honestly..

Feature image: Instagram/@epfestival

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The award-winning Casa BACARDÍ® stage returns to the grounds of Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co.Laois for a 16th consecutive year from August 30 to September 1 2019 with a stellar line-up featuring Jasper James, Mark Knight, Boots & Kats, Tara Stewart and many more.

Across the sold-out festival weekend, Casa BACARDÍ will be the perfect destination to soak up the party atmosphere, encouraging music lovers to do what moves them while enjoying an Original BACARDI cocktail.

 As part of the ’Do What Moves You’ campaign, BACARDI Ireland has teamed up with DJ Tara Stewart and disco-duo Boots & Kats, renowned for their freedom of self-expression and being their true selves to bring their festival flare to Casa BACARDÍ® at Electric Picnic 2019. Casa BACARDI is regarded as one of the best festival parties in Ireland with its electrifying atmosphere and unique sound to bring people together through music. 

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Queen of the Jackathons, Heidi headlines the opening night of Casa BACARDÍ on Friday, August 30, with support from DJ and Producer, Jasper James warming up the crowd with his own brand of off-kilter house and heads down techno on the night. Support throughout the first day at Casa BACARDI, comes from long time Toast House residents, Adult Store, Orange Tree Edits DJ and Producer, Jimmy Rouge and disco-house duo Get Down Edits.

Saturday’s line-up will be headlined by Dutch duo, Detroit Swindle, renowned for exploring the boarders of electronic music with the dreamy “Tamarindus Hollandicus”. Main support on the night comes from disco and funk-duo Boots & Kats who will bring their distinctive sound, while House of Disco founder, Magnier, dominates Casa BACARDI with his eclectic ethos.

Support throughout the second day comes from Kildare natives, Mix + Fairbanks with their electronic disco sounds, Dublin’s Riff Shop, who will be returning to the Casa BACARDI stage where they made their festival debut last year, and JORDAN who will be bringing us into the early hours with his underground house mixes. 

Guaranteeing dance-floor dominance and closing the Casa BACARDÍ line up on Sunday evening is house music heavyweight and producer, Mark Knight, entertaining the Stradbally crowd with his extensive sounds of classic house and deep, electronic sets. Joining the line up on the last day of Casa BACARDÍ, electronic maestro Krafty Kuts, and King of turntables, A-Skillz will be taking to the stage in an exclusive B2B set with support from Quinton Campbell with his italo-house fuelled sounds and Dublin based DJ, Justyna Koss giving us deep electronica vibes.

The Casa BACARDÍ stage has firmly established itself as one of the best parties at Electric Picnic, designed for festival goers to enjoy an adventure of discovery, spontaneity and liberation.

Throughout the weekend, BACARDÍ bartenders will be sharing their skills with festival goers showing them how to make delicious BACARDÍ rum cocktails with their new and exciting flavours, Raspberry and Ginger.

There will also be a dedicated Mojito Bar serving Original BACARDÍ Mojitos, the timeless classic cocktail loved by leading mixologists worldwide.

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New Miley Cyrus tunes are being delivered fresh out of the oven this Friday, May 31, and we CANNOT WAIT.

Per EntertainmentWeekly, the actress and singer's brand new project will take the form of an EP entitled She Is Coming.

Cyrus shared the release date and cover art to her Instagram and Twitter followers last night, featuring the star wearing a Never Mind The Buzzcocks t-shirt.

The 26-year-old began teasing the EP earlier this month on social media, and premiered three new songs over the weekend during her BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend set.

Cattitude, Dream and Mother's Daughter were the names of the tracks, and fans were loving them. She Is Coming will follow the sinfger's 2017 album, Younger Now.

Her last effort saw the musician return slightly to her country roots and embracing a more rock-orientated sound.

It was a sonic shift away from her psychedelic pop album from 2015; Miley Cyrus and her Dead Petz, and 2013's Bangerz.

Not one to stick to a solo project alone, Cyrus is also starring in an upcoming Black Mirror episode; Rachel, Jack and Ashley, Too.

She will be playing a pop star peddling toy robots that have her exact appearance to her young fans in the show.

“This is the story of females in the music industry,” Cyrus told BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat about the episode.

"I understand everyone’s gone through this but I do think for females in the industry… it’s hard to be taken seriously.

"People assume that if you’re not wearing a body suit and singing pop music, why would anyone want to see you.”

She Is Coming is now available to pre-save on Spotify and Apple Music, and Black Mirror returns on June 5.

Feature image: Instagram/@mileycyrus

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Ireland isn't exactly the hotspot for musical talent to visit during the summer, but recently we've been acquiring some absolutely MAJOR acts from around the world.

Some of us may remember the days of Oxygen (Rest in Pieces), but Electric Picnic has taken over as the biggest and most popular festival in the Irish calendar.

Longitude appears to have become the most 'hip-hop' festival in town overnight, who saw that one coming? All the young ones adore it, hence why artists such as Chance the Rapper, Future and AS$P Rocky are headlining it this year.

Oh, and the queen that is CARDI B (gasp)… this will be us when she emerges on stage like the glorious, ghetto peacock that she is:

ultra music festival dancing GIF

Luckily for you, we've decided to do a round-up of EVERYTHING there is to know of 2019's Irish music festivals.

Strap yourselves in, get your raincoat and wellies ready, it's looking like a muddy ride. 

God knows why we all live for summer's music gigs, most of us have had our stuff stolen, our tents destroyed and our dignity abandoned, yet we still come crawling back for more. Must be our dedication to the art, or something?

First up: Castlepalooza: May 3 – May 5 2019

Things have been pretty hush hush this year in Castlepalooza-land. So far, no headline acts have been announced and even the early bird tickets aren't on sale yet.

As far as speculation goes, they normally stick to Irish acts such as AllTvvins and The Rubberbandits, so maybe they'll get Dermot Kennedy or Picture This?

We're assuming it's still taking place in Charleville Castle, Tullamore, but they've changed the dates so who knows. All will be revealed.

Life Festival: May 24 – May 26 2019

For #Life19, some major dance players have been given the green light to DJ, including Giggs, Bicep, MK, Nina Kraviz and CamelPhat. Think District 8 but in the woodlands.

The festival is returning to Belvedere House in County Westmeath for a weekend of phenomenal tunes. There are three days, six stages and a jam-packed line-up.

Chill by the lakeside stage for a more relaxed vibe, or hit the District 8 tent and Main Stage for absolute dance mania.

Vantastival: 31 May – June 2 2019

Known as the last real festival for camper vans and 'legit' music lover families, Vantastival is relatively unknown in some circles but a must-see in others.

Taking place in Drogheda, Co. Louth, the festival boasts comedy shows, craft beer, art installations and a kids' camp for families.

The festival gets some unbelievable talent up to play, and the headline acts this year have already been announced.

King Kong Company, David Keenan, Cry Monster Cry, Just Mustard and I'd Fight Gandhi are all hitting the stages this year, it's gonna be a BIG one for their 10th anniversary.

Forbidden Fruit: June 1 – June 3 2019

Forbidden Fruit has been a steadily growing Irish festival for years, with some well-known as well as emerging talent performing DJ sets in the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham.

Headliners this year are Mura Masa (INCREDIBLE), Skepta, Elbow, First Aid Kit and Danny Brown. They're spreading out the genres this year, bringing in some new and more alternative names.

Tickets went on-sale back in December, but there are still a few left. We recommend grabbing them before they're gone.

Body&Soul: June 21 – June 23 2019

The arts festival takes place in Ballinlough, Co. Westmeath, and it's celebrating it's 10th run this year.

Previous headliners include Nick Cave, but they have yet to tease 2019's fixtures. 

It's a cesspit for creative minds, branding itself as the biggest 'independent' festival in Ireland. They're announcing the line-up very soon, so stay tuned. We're guessing perhaps Christine and the Queens?

Sea Sessions: June 21- June 23 2019

Sea Sessions is well on the rise. The festival is specifically for surfers, and takes place in Bundoran, Co. Donegal for those sea lovers every year.

They've got a STELLAR line-up for 2019: Sigrid (I cried when I saw her, not gonna lie), Clean Bandit and Two Door Cinema Club are the star acts who will blaze up that stage.

This one looks set to be an incredible year, especially if the weather holds up. Tickets are on sale now, but it sells out every year so get on it ASAP.

Longitude – July 5 – July 7 2019

They've just announced some massive names to the chart: Cardi B and Anne-Marie are two unreal additions.

The festival is running from Friday July 5 until Sunday July 7 in Marlay Park, and always gets some pure stunning weather (for once).

The line-ups have DRASTICALLY changed even since 2017, when Mumford & Sons took centre stage. It's all about those rap stars nowadays, who would have thought Irish people would crave the genre so much? Maybe it's just the young wans.

Tickets are back on sale this Friday, February 1 at 9am. Get ready for online mayhem, as Cardi B is sure to attract thousands of eager fans. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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All Together Now: August 2 – August 4 2019

The festival takes place in Curraghmore House in County Waterford during the August Bank Holiday, so it's always a sure-fire hit.

American indie band The National are the headliners for this year's take; previous performers include Fleet Foxes, Mura Masa, Villagers and First Aid Kit.

Most of the tickets have already sold-out for this year's festival, but there's always DoneDeal? Camper van tickets are also still available, but not much else except the higher priced ones.

Electric Picnic: August 30 – September 1 2019

So E.P. is ALREADY sold-out, as predicted. 

The speculation has begun, seeing as nobody is aware of the line-up as of yet, and we're gonna go ahead and pray that our home-girl ARIANA GRANDE hits the Main Stage. Get your rosary beads out.

Last year saw N.E.R.D, Kendrick Lamar and The Prodigy hit the stage as headliners, and Sigrid and Dua Lipa absolutely smashed it during their performances. We'd love to see those gals return with new albums under their belts.

There you are, gals. The ULTIMATE Irish music festival round-up for 2019…so far. We're tingling with excitement already at the thought of sneaking in all those naggins/cans/wine bottles/shoulders/litres/whatever the kids drink nowadays.

Now all we need is the funds to afford any/all of these amazing gigs. Maybe we could sneak in?

camping ozzy osbourne GIF by History UK

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Ever since Hozier's debut album, we've been counting down the days until his sophomore effort is released.

The critically-acclaimed work sold a whopping 4 million albums worldwide, so his next one has a lot to live up to.

Andrew Hozier Byrne has waited FOUR-AND-A-HALF YEARS to give us the goods, but we won't hold it against him.

His second album is titled Wasteland Baby! is officially coming out on March 1, and he's given us a new song to listen to while we wait. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Andrew Hozier Byrne (@hozier) on

The artist captioned the video; "I’m thrilled to announce my new album Wasteland, Baby!" 

"The album has been over a year in the making and it’s a pleasure to finally turn out my pockets and share the work. I want to sincerely thank fans and listeners for their continued support in between the records. See you out on the road soon.”

The new album follows Hozier's recent EP Nina Cried Power which features tunes inspired by his love for the world of music. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Andrew Hozier Byrne (@hozier) on

The singer from Wicklow name-checks civil rights advocates and musicians such as Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Joni Mitchell and Mavis Staples, who appears on the record.

The tracklist from Wasteland Baby! has 14 songs on it, including Movement; his latest single has been streamed over 21 million times in two months.

We can listen to the new song Almost (Sweet Music) while we wait for the album, which is sure to be HUGE.

Only 44 days until the release, but who's counting?

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By Amy Donohoe

SHEmazing contributor Amy spoke to musician James Smith, whose EP Little Love lands today:

Throughout the years, Britains got Talent has supplied us with many entertaining acts, and four years ago James Smith took to the stage when he was just 15 years old.

Today, James has released his first EP called Little Love. Other successful musicians like Callum Scott and Ryan O’Shaughnessy also started their career by auditioning for BGT.

James auditioned back in 2014 with Nina Simone’s Feeling Good, and since then James started building a studio, learning about music production and writing.

 

A post shared by James Smith (@jamessmithvocal) on

Two years and hundreds of songs later, he signed a record deal with Virgin EMI – whilst studying at college in West London.

In the past four years, he has become a lot more confident in his own skin and ability. He is also a lot more serious about what he wants to do. “Every project that involve myself in, I live and breathe it. I’ve also gained mental stability, ' he told SHEmazing.

'I definitely know that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life, whether it be in the background, or at the front of it all. ”

James has spent a lot of time figuring out a particular ‘sound’ musically, jumping from different genres and moods. He has been working really hard on becoming a musician as well as a singer, as he feels this is important for his songwriting.

“I wanted this to come across in my music. Four years has been the perfect amount of time to grow, I feel I’ve moulded in to an ‘artist’ now rather than just a kid that writes music.”

He has worked with huge songwriters and producers who, themselves, have collaborated with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Adele, James Bay.

 

A post shared by James Smith (@jamessmithvocal) on

He has also written music for up-and-coming artists: 'Their projects will begin this year, which is very exciting,' he revealed. 

When asked which artists inspire him, James said “Oh wow, this is the hardest question ever because I listen to far too much music.

One of my all time favourites has got to be Stevie Wonder. He is very much a spiritual presence in my life and I feel very grateful towards him.”

“I’m also an avid Beatles fan, particularly Paul McCartney – simply because of his musicianship and I’m a huge fan of the soul-quarian period of music too, which includes D’Angelo and Erykah Badu”

In four years time, James would like to “have had a very successful album, my own a studio, have worked with some of my heroes, and be livin la vida loca.”

His new single Little Love is streaming on all platforms (Apple Music, Spotify) and the meaning behind the song is “In terms of lyricism, the track stems from the idea that sacrifices need to be made in order to achieve dreams. In my case, I’ve given up a lot of my social life in the hope of achieving a career in music – turning down parties and holidays. As a result, I end up spending weeks-on-end alone, in my studio – hence the need for a ‘little love’.”

You can listen to the EP here.

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