Music News

Mark Knopfler, Nile Rodgers voices support for initiative aiding music-mentoring programs

Mark Knopfler in 2019; Xavi Torrent/WireImage

Ex-Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler and Chic's Nile Rodgers are among the well-known musicians who are sharing their support for a new initiative to raise awareness and funds for music-mentoring programs, particularly for schools attended by students from lower-income backgrounds.

The initiative, dubbed the Immersive Music Challenge, was launched Wednesday by the D'Addario Foundation in response to a new UCLA study that suggests intensive music mentoring helps improve reading and math scores. The study, which was published in June in the Journal of Youth Development, also observed that those who received music mentoring during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced a decrease in anxiety.

The campaign follows alarming revelations that reading and math scores have been persistently low throughout the U.S. in recent years, and have worsened during the pandemic.

Established in 1981, the D'Addario Foundation offers financial support to music instruction and mentoring programs in under-resourced communities around the U.S.

"Learning a musical instrument will give you a friend for life," says Knopfler in a statement. "Now the latest research has demonstrated how vital music education is in schools. It has positive effects in all areas of learning and development: makes us smarter and makes a better world."

He adds, "Supporting the D'Addario Foundation is a key to this approach. The foundation is growing -- on a journey to becoming a global influence. I hope you can help, however you can."

Meanwhile, Rodgers says, "To me, music in schools is the most important thing that you could ever experience -- and it may be one of the best things that educators can experience as well! The consistency and the fun of doing music is one of the best things a kid can experience."

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It's no 'Rumour': Fleetwood Mac members' personal memorabilia heading to auction block

Juliens Auctions

Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood have cleared out their closets and are putting some of their most iconic memorabilia on the auction block.

Julien's Auctions is handling the sale, which will take place live over two days -- December 3 and December 4 -- in Beverly Hills, as well as online at A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares, the charitable arm of the Recording Academy, which named Fleetwood Mac its Person of the Year in 2018.  

Among the goodies up for grabs:

The "hanging balls" that Mick Fleetwood wore on the cover of Rumours, along with a signed art print. Estimated to bring between $100 and $200,000, the wooden balls are attached to leather cords and come with a cloth drawstring case. The balls were originally pull chains from a toilet in a club where Fleetwood Mac played back in the day. 

Among Fleetwood's other items are various drums and percussion instruments, the suit he wore in the ad campaign for Harry Styles' Pleasing lifestyle brand and a drumhead signed by President Bill Clinton from a private performance the band did before he left office. That's expected to fetch between 80 and 100 grand.

Christine McVie's items include the dress she wore on the back cover of Rumours, the baby grand piano which she used onstage to perform "Songbird," additional keyboards and a variety of stage-worn clothes, including the boots she wore to the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

John McVie is selling a number of his bass guitars, including the one he used to record "The Chain," and a surfboard that Stevie Nicks gave him when he moved to Hawaii, despite the fact that he doesn't surf.

Visit to find out how to bid.

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R.E.M.'s eighth studio album, 'Automatic for the People,' was released 30 years ago this week

Concord Music Group

Wednesday, October 5, marked the 30th anniversary of the release of R.E.M.'s eighth studio album, Automatic for the People.

A follow-up to the influential alternative-rock band's chart-topping 1991 album, Out of Time, Automatic for the People was similarly successful, peaking at #2 on the Billboard 200 and #1 in the U.K., and going on to be certified four-times Platinum by the RIAA.

The album yielded three singles that reached the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart -- "Drive," "Everybody Hurts" and "Man on the Moon," which peaked at #28, #29 and #30, respectively.

Led Zeppelin bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones created string arrangements for four tracks -- "Drive," "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite," "Everybody Hurts" and "Nightswimming."

"Man on the Moon" was a tribute to late comedian Andy Kaufman, and the song's title was later used for the title of director Milos Forman's 1999 Kaufman biopic, which starred Jim Carrey. The tune also appeared in the movie.

In an April 2022 episode of the Broken Record podcast, singer Michael Stipe noted about Automatic for the People, "Song by song ... the whole album is referencing the 1970s." He also pointed out that "Drive" was an homage to David Essex's "Rock On," and that "Everybody Hurts" was inspired by Nazareth's cover of the Everly Brothers hit "Love Hurts."

The album's title is a reference to the motto of Weaver D's Delicious Fine Foods, a soul-food restaurant in R.E.M.'s hometown of Athens, Georgia.

Here's the full track list of Automatic for the People:

"Drive" Side
"Try Not to Breathe"
"The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite"
"Everybody Hurts"
"New Orleans Instrumental No. 1"
"Sweetness Follows"

"Ride" Side
"Monty Got a Raw Deal"
"Star Me Kitten"
"Man on the Moon"
"Find the River"

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Out-of-print Sly & the Family Stone biography to be published again next week

Permuted Press

An updated edition of the long-out-of-print 1998 Sly & the Family Stone biography is scheduled to be published on Tuesday, October 11.

Sly & the Family Stone: An Oral History was written by veteran music critic and author Joel Selvin, who conducted dozens of interviews with all of the influential Bay Area rock-and-soul band's members, except the group's eccentric and reclusive frontman, Sylvester Stewart, a.k.a. Sly Stone.

Selvin also interviewed a variety of other musicians and figures associated with Sly & the Family Stone, including Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick, soul great Bobby Womack, Beau Brummels frontman Sal Valentino, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and legendary music mogul Clive Davis.

The book documents the band's rise to stardom and Sly's descent into drug abuse and paranoia after the band relocated to Southern California in 1970.

A key figure in helping Selvin put the book together was Hamp "Bubba" Banks, Sly's good friend and a part of Stone's inner circle, who shared many of his firsthand experiences with the volatile musician. Banks also put the author in touch with many other figures close to Sly who were interviewed for the book.

To order Sly & the Family Stone: An Oral History, visit

Sly & the Family Stone was the first major U.S. rock band to boast a racially integrated lineup featuring men and women. During their heyday in the late 1960s and early '70s, the band released three chart-topping singles -- "Everyday People," "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" and "Family Affair" -- and scored such other major hits as "Hot Fun in the Summertime" and "Dance to the Music." They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

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Deluxe 50th anniversary reissue of Bob Weir's solo debut album, 'Ace,' due in January

Rhino Entertainment Company

An expanded 50th anniversary reissue of Grateful Dead singer/guitarist Bob Weir's 1972 debut solo album, Ace, will be released on January 13, 2023 in multiple formats.

The deluxe reissue will be available digitally and as a two-CD set, and will feature a newly remastered version of the original album as well as Weir and his side group Wolf Bros' full live performance of Ace at New York's Radio City Music Hall back in April.

In addition, custom vinyl LP featuring the new Ace remaster will be available exclusively at; a pearl-white vinyl will drop on January 13 and a black vinyl on February 3.

Released on May 1, 1972, Ace featured all of Weir's Grateful Dead bandmates, except for keyboardist Rod "Pigpen" McKernan, as his backing group. The eight-track collection included a number songs that the Grateful Dead also performed and recorded, such as "Playing in the Band," "Mexicali Blues" and "One More Saturday Night."

The Radio City Music Hall show featured Weir and Wolf Bros augmented by string and brass quintet and pedal-steel player Barry Sless as well as special guests Tyler Childers and Brittney Spencer.

Weir and Wolf Bros' performance of "Black-Throated Wind" from the show will be included in the recently announced charity compilation Good Music to Ensure Safe Abortion Access to All. The album will be released this Friday, October 7, exclusively on Bandcamp; it will only be available for 24 hours.

The remastered mix of the Ace song "Cassidy" is available now as an advance digital single from the forthcoming reissue.

You can preorder the Ace: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition now.

Here's the full track list:

Disc One: Original Album (2023 Remaster)
"Greatest Story Ever Told"
"Black-Throated Wind"
"Walk in the Sunshine"
"Playing in the Band"
"Looks Like Rain"
"Mexicali Blues"
"One More Saturday Night"

Disc Two: Live at Radio City Music Hall, New York NY (4/3/22)
"Greatest Story Ever Told" -- featuring Tyler Childers
"Black-Throated Wind"
"Walk in the Sunshine" -- featuring Brittney Spencer
"Playing in the Band"
"Looks Like Rain" -- featuring Brittney Spencer
"Mexicali Blues" (Intro)
"Mexicali Blues"
"One More Saturday Night"

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Steve Perry gives fans a taste of new holiday tune via a TikTok video

Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Last week, Steve Perry posted a message on social media teasing his plans to release new Christmas music soon. Now, the ex-Journey singer has shared a TikTok video featuring him singing a bit of what appears to be a new original holiday tune called "Maybe This Year."

"Hello, everyone. I'm Steve Perry, and this is my recording studio," Perry says in the clip. He continues, "And these are my holiday lights, and these are my holiday assistants," showing Christmas lights, a teddy bear, a plush Santa doll and another children's toy decorating some of his recording equipment.

Steve then says, "And I'm only wishing one thing for each and every one of us, from the bottom of my heart, I swear" and proceeds to croon, "Maybe this year we can try holding on to our love." He adds, "Maybe this year, you know?"

On September 26, Perry posted a drawing on his social media pages of a grinning, crazed-looking depiction of himself wearing a Santa Claus hat. The caption read in part, "Maybe This Year one NEW SP original Holiday song, plus one more, could be coming!" 

Perry's most recent solo album is the holiday collection The Season, which was released in 2021.

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AC/DC singer Brian Johnson celebrates 75th birthday

Jason Squires/WireImage

Here's wishing a very happy 75th birthday to longtime AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson, who was born October 5, 1947.

The gravel-voiced vocalist, who hails from Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K., served as the lead singer of the Newcastle-based glam-rock outfit Geordie throughout most of the 1970s before AC/DC hired him to replace Bon Scott, who died in February 1980 at age 33 from "acute alcohol poisoning."

AC/DC were already a hugely popular band, but Johnson's first album with the Australian rockers, 1980's Back in Black, made them superstars. Brian co-wrote the album's songs with guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young, including such classics as the title track, "Hells Bells" and "You Shook Me All Night Long."

Back in Black peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200 and went on to sell over 25 million copies in the U.S., making it the best-selling hard-rock record ever in the States.

Johnson continued to co-write AC/DC's songs with the Young brothers through 1988's Blow Up Your Video album.

Brian's long tenure as AC/DC's frontman was sidetracked in 2016 during the band's Rock or Bust tour, when he had to stop performing live immediately because of hearing issues. Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose was brought on to finish the trek.

Johnson rejoined AC/DC in 2020 for the recording of the band's latest album, the chart-topping Power Up.

His most recent performance took place on September 3 during the star-studded London tribute concert for late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. Brian performed two AC/DC songs, "Back in Black" and "Let There Be Rock," while backed by Foo Fighters and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich.

Johnson will release a new memoir titled The Lives of Brian on October 25.

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Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band releasing new live album and video in November

Roccabella/BFD/The Orchard

Ringo Starr is releasing a new concert album and video capturing a 2019 performance with his All Starr Band at Los Angeles' famous Greek Theatre. The project will drop in multiple formats on November 25, the day after Thanksgiving.

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band Live at The Greek Theater 2019 will be available on CD, DVD and Blu-ray; a special two-LP set pressed on yellow vinyl will be sold exclusively at independent record shops in conjunction with the 2022 Record Store Day Black Friday event.

The album and film document the final show of Ringo and the All Starr's 2019 tour, which took place on September 2. The band's lineup for the trek featured founding Santana singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Men at Work frontman Colin Hay and Average White Band bassist Hamish Stuart.

The set lists included select Beatles tunes, solo Ringo hits and renditions of songs by Santana, Toto, Men at Work and Average White Band.

The show's finale featured several All Starr Band alums -- Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Nils Lofgren, The Romantics' Wally Palmar and renowned session drummer Jim Keltner -- joining Ringo and company onstage for a rousing version of "With a Little Help from My Friends."

A recording of Ringo performing Carl Perkins' "Matchbox," which he used to sing with The Beatles, has been released as an advance digital single from Live at The Greek Theater 2019, and a video of the performance has debuted on his official YouTube channel.

You can preorder the album and video now.

Here's Live at The Greek Theater 2019's full track list:

"It Don't Come Easy"
"What Goes On"
"Evil Ways"
"Pick Up the Pieces"
"Down Under"
"Don't Pass Me By"
"Yellow Submarine"
"Cut the Cake"
"Black Magic Woman"
"You're Sixteen"
"Work to Do"*
"Oye Como Va"
"I Wanna Be Your Man"
"Who Can It Be Now?"
"Hold the Line"
"Act Naturally"
"With a Little Help from My Friends"

* = CD, DVD, Blu-ray only.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

The Beatles' debut single, "Love Me Do," was released in the UK 60 years ago

The Beatles in 1962; Harry Hammond/V&A Images/Getty Images

Wednesday, October 5, marks the 60th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' first U.K. single, "Love Me Do."

According to, the Fab Four had first recorded the song with original drummer Pete Best on June 6, 1962, at London's EMI Studios -- later Abbey Road Studios. Then, after Ringo Starr had replaced Best, the band took a second crack at the song at EMI on September 4 of that year.

Producer George Martin wasn't happy with the quality of Ringo's drumming on that version, so The Beatles reconvened once more time at EMI, on September 11, 1962, with session drummer Andy White sitting in and Starr on tambourine.

Initial copies of the "Love Me Do" single actually featured the version with Ringo, although the one with White was included on The Beatles' debut U.K. album, Please Please Me, and The Beatles' Hits EP, which were released in 1963 in March and September, respectively.

The "Love Me Do" single peaked at #17 on the U.K. chart. The version with White on drums also appeared on the Fab Four's debut U.S. album, Introducing The Beatles, which was released in January 1964. Issued as a U.S. single in April '64, it spent one week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May of that year.

As previously reported, The Beatles Story in Liverpool, U.K., is marking the 60th anniversary on Wednesday by inviting fans to bring their Beatles or Beatles-era memorabilia to the popular Fab Four-themed attraction, where experts from a specialist Beatles auction house will appraise the items for free.

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Jefferson Airplane to receive star on Hollywood Walk of Fame next week

Jefferson Airplane, circa 1970; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Influential San Francisco psychedelic band Jefferson Airplane will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next week.

The star ceremony will take place October 13 at 11:30 a.m. PT and will be streamed live at

The three surviving members of the band's Surrealistic Pillow lineup -- singer Grace Slick, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady -- will be on hand to accept the honor. Doors drummer John Densmore and Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart will be guest speakers at the event.

The plaque, which will be the 2,737th star dedicated on the Walk of Fame, will be located at 6752 Hollywood Blvd.

"This ceremony will bring many great memories to those with a love for music of the '60s and '70s," says Walk of Fame producer Ana Martinez. "We are proud to add this iconic psychedelic rock band to the Hollywood Walk of Fame."

Formed in 1965, Jefferson Airplane had its biggest success with its second album, 1967's Surrealistic Pillow, which featured the classic Slick-sung hits "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love." The band was at the center of the counterculture movement through the late 1960s and early '70s, and famously played at historic festivals Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Altamont.

After the band broke up, Slick played with Airplane co-founders Marty Balin and Paul Kantner in the spinoff group Jefferson Starship. Kaukonen and Casady, meanwhile, formed the psychedelic folk-blues outfit Hot Tuna; they continue to tour and record with that band.

The Airplane reformed in 1989 for a reunion tour and album.

In 1996, Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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Black Crowes members, others to celebrate R.E.M. at two Georgia benefit shows


A two-night benefit concert series celebrating the 40th anniversary of R.E.M.'s 1982 debut EP, Chronic Town, will take place in Athens and Atlanta, Georgia, this December.

The lineup for both shows includes Black Crowes co-founders Rich and Chris Robinson, Hootie and the Blowfish's Darius Rucker, Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye, longtime Black Crowes bassist Sven Pipien, The Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn and ex-Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin.

Rich, Barrett and Sven will serve as the concerts' house band.

Saturday Night Live alum/musician Fred Armisen, actor John Cameron Mitchell, Drivin N Cryin and Let's Active's Mitch Easter, who produced Chronic Town, are also on the bill. David Cross will host the events.

In addition, The Indigo Girls will be playing at the Athens show.

The concerts will feature performances of Chronic Town's five songs, as well as other fan favorites.

The Athens concert will be held December 14 at the 40 Watt Club. Tickets go on sale to the general public Tuesday, October 11, at 10 a.m. ET. Tickets for the Atlanta show, which will take place at the Coca-Cola Roxy theater on December 15, go on sale to the general public Friday, October 7, at 10 a.m. ET, while a fan presale will begin October 6 at 10 a.m. ET.

"Growing up in Atlanta in the 1980s, R.E.M. was the preeminent band of that era," says Rich. "Their music was a huge influence not only on the Atlanta music scene but also on my brother and me. I'm so happy to be able to put together this celebration for a band that meant so much to us and music, and Chronic Town is what started it all."

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Julian Lennon to serve as ambassador for 2022 World College Radio Day

ABC Audio

Julian Lennon has been named the official 2022 ambassador for the 12th annual edition of World College Radio Day, which takes place Friday, October 7.

The celebration, which is organized by the not-for-profit College Radio Foundation, seeks to unite college radio stations in more than 50 countries to raise awareness about the work college stations do and value they bring to broadcasting.

"College radio is a good way to learn about what's going on in the world, whether it's locally or worldwide," says Lennon in a statement. "College radio is not like the usual mainstream stuff, and I find that far more intriguing."

This year's World College Radio Day theme is "Voices for Peace." Reflecting on the topic, Julian, who is the late John Lennon's older son, says, "I feel I've been pretty successful in promoting peace and trying to motivate people through so many mediums, but we've got to keep moving, we've got to keep changing, we've got to do better."

An exclusive interview with Julian, conducted by students from World College Radio Day's U.S. board, will be simulcast October 7 on over 700 participating college stations. Many of the stations also plan to play a recording of Julian's recent cover of his father's classic peace anthem "Imagine," which he did in support of Ukraine in the wake of Russia's invasion.

Lennon plans to release a 7-inch vinyl single featuring "Imagine" on or around November 18.

Last month, Julian released a new studio album titled Jude, his first new collection of original songs since 2011's Everything Changes.

Previous World College Radio Day ambassadors have included Joan Jett, Poison's Bret Michaels, "Weird Al" YankovicThe Black Keys and Wyclef Jean.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

R.E.M., David Byrne & more contributing unreleased recordings to pro-choice-themed benefit compilation

Courtesy of Good Music

Artists including R.E.M., David Byrne of Talking Heads, Devo and The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir are contributing unreleased recordings to an upcoming benefit compilation titled Good Music to Ensure Safe Abortion Access to All.

The album will be released this Friday, October 7, exclusively on Bandcamp and will only be available for 24 hours. Proceeds will be donated to The Brigid Alliance, Abortion Care Network and Noise for Now.

The compilation will include a track featuring Byrne collaborating with Devo, while Weir's contribution was recorded with his side group Wolf Bros. R.E.M.'s track will be a live version of "Walk Unafraid," a song from the band's 1998 album Up.

Other participating artists include Pearl Jam, Cat Power, Death Cab for Cutie, Fleet Foxes, Tegan and Sara, Grouplove, Silversun Pickups and Sleater-Kinney.

For more info, visit

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Bobby Brown announces Celebration of Serenity in honor of Bobbi Kristina, domestic violence awareness month

Brown Ribbon Entertainment

R&B legend Bobby Brown and his wife, Alicia Etheredge-Brown, have announced the return of the Celebration of Serenity Gala and golf tournament in support of the fight against domestic violence during October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

After a two-year hiatus, the celebration returns to shed light on staggering domestic violence statistics and to honor leaders who use their professional and personal work to advocate for social change. 

"Pre-pandemic statistics show that nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner," Bobby Brown said in a statement. "That's more than 10 million women and men a year. These numbers have heightened more behind closed in the midst of the pandemic."

He added, "Our foundation is committed to doing our part through the BKSH to give a voice to the voiceless."

Emmy-winning journalist and talk show host Tamron Hall will be honored with the Courage of Voice award for her humanitarian work with creating The Tamron Renate Fund for women, children and families who experience abuse. Singer-songwriter Angela Winbush will receive the Thrivers Award, which honors those who persevere and achieve their goals despite life-altering circumstances. 

The event will be hosted by actress Tisha Campbell with entertainment provided by DJ Cassidy.

The Bobbi Kristina Serenity House is a nonprofit organization founded in 2015 with a goal to provide crisis intervention, emergency shelter, access to resources and advocacy for social change. BKSH was formed by Brown, whose daughter Bobbi Kristina was a victim of domestic violence. 

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Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' to be focus of new documentary

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

We will finally learn the complete story of Michael Jackson's groundbreaking album, Thriller, in a forthcoming documentary.

Billboard reports the doc is helmed by Sony Music Entertainment and will further celebrate the album's 40th anniversary. Music historian Nelson George has been tapped to direct the film, which has already started production.

"The release of Thriller redefined Michael Jackson, taking him from teen star to adult superstar, who composed memorable songs, sang beautifully and reached the highest level of on-stage performance," said George in a statement. He continued, "The album, and the short films they inspired, created a new template for marrying music and image. It’s been a privilege to explore this extraordinary album and revisit its magic."

The upcoming tell-all will look into the album's origins and the effect it had on the music industry, including its influence on the music video format. The documentary will bring to light some never-before-seen interviews and other video content to further demonstrate how Thriller transformed Michael's legacy.

Sony is teaming with Optimum Productions for the work. A release date is forthcoming.

This isn't the only celebration Sony Music has in store for Thriller. On November 18, the company will release Michael Jackson Thriller 40, a double CD set with a bonus record filled with rare audio recordings and demos that Jackson worked on during the 1982 album's sessions.

Sony Music will also host pop-up events and other Michael Jackson-centered celebrations across the globe.

Thriller was released on November 30, 1982 and is hailed one of the best-selling albums of all time. The album, which won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1984, is RIAA-certified triple Diamond in the U.S.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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