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Diddy compares Fox's 'The Four' to 'Game of Thrones' to help you understand its premise

"The Four" judges Charlie Walk, left, Meghan Trainor, DJ Khaled and Sean "Diddy" Combs and host Fergie. (Frederick M. Brown)
"The Four" judges Charlie Walk, left, Meghan Trainor, DJ Khaled and Sean "Diddy" Combs and host Fergie. (Frederick M. Brown)

Sead “Diddy” Combs knows the struggle. Yet another new singing competition show means there’s yet another new format and set of twists to figure out. Knowing how much brain power should be reserved for more pressing matters (hello, nuclear buttons!), Combs has found a way to distill the essence of Fox’s “American Idol” successor, “The Four: The Battle for Stardom.”

“It’s like ‘Game of Thrones,’” Combs told reporters Thursday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena. Combs, who was joined onstage by fellow show judges DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor, music executive Charlie Walk and host Fergie, kept his metaphor going: “You get to challenge and if you want to chop somebody’s head off to get the seat. It has that vibe.

Got it?

For what it’s worth, he isn’t the first to try the “Game of Thrones” comparison. Rob Wade, Fox’s head of alternative programming, also drew that same connection last summer, though he suggested there was “better singing and less nudity.” Tomato, tomahto.

For those who like synopsis straight up: The show starts with finalists. Each week, the top four singers will sing against challengers, which could include viewers, to keep their spot on the show. The panel of experts select the original finalists from auditions, and, as things progress, help to shape the winner’s career.

But do fans of the music competition genre have any more room for another show of this ilk? The judges say yes.

"Because there's always a dream,” Combs said. "This show is different. In the drop of a second, you could just lose your seat.”

Added DJ Khaled: "You can't put a cap on success in talent. There's new talent that's coming out every day. This is music we're talking about. Music's forever. It's forever."

“The Four: Battle for Stardom” begins its six-week rollout Thursday at 8 p.m. on Fox.


Coachella 2018 lineup features Beyoncé, Eminem, the Weeknd, Cardi B and more

The lineup for the 2018 Coachella Music and Arts Festival has been announced, and headlining the festival will be a trio of superstars: Canadian R&B singer the Weeknd, pop diva Beyoncé and Detroit rapper Eminem.

Now in its 19th year as a festival, the Goldenvoice–promoted event marks the symbolic opening of the annual festival season. This year‘s installment, which will take place over two weekends from April 13-22, marks the first time a rock act hasn’t headlined.

Also featured will be rapper Tyler, the Creator, experimental pop guitarist St. Vincent, the breakout R&B singer SZA, sibling trio Haim and the wildly popular New York rapper Cardi B. 

Veterans taking the stage will include former Talking Heads singer David Byrne, British beat band Jamiroquai, prog-metal band A Perfect Circle and disco-funk producer Nile Rodgers and Chic.

The shift away from rock and booming EDM has most benefited rap, which will be represented through artists including “Rock Star” rapper Post Malone, respected Long Beach artist Vince Staples, the Atlanta trio Migos, ascendent collective Brockhampton and upstart Princess Nokia.  

Still, there will be guitars, and they’ll be carried in by members of bands including the War on Drugs, Alt-J, Priests, Fidlar, Fleet Foxes, Cherry Glazerr and the Regrettes.

Remaining tickets go on sale Jan. 5 at noon PST on the Coachella site. General admission passes are $429, while VIP wristbands cost $999. Prices include all taxes and shipping fees. 


‘Superstore’ star America Ferrera is pregnant with her first child

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images None
Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

America Ferrera is puckering up in anticipation of her first child’s arrival.

The pregnant “Superstore” star and her husband, Ryan Piers Williams, confirmed they’re expecting with a holiday post on Instagram over the weekend.

“We’re welcoming one more face to kiss in 2018! Wishing you #MásBesos in the New Year! #babybesos #HappyNewYear,” the 33-year-old “Ugly Betty” actress wrote, captioning a picture of herself holding up a baby’s bodysuit that solicited kisses in Spanish.

Williams posted the same festive New Year’s Eve photo, writing, “Making room for new and beautiful things to come in 2018! #happynewyear”

He and the Emmy-winning star have been together for 12 years and wed in 2011. They first met as students at USC when Williams cast Ferrera in a student film.

No word yet on the little one’s due date.

Ferrera’s pregnancy announcement came just before she and more than 300 other prominent women working in Hollywood launched the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, an anti-harassment initiative meant to combat sexual harassment in the industry.

“We wrote and issued this letter of solidarity to stand with women across every industry in saying: #TIMESUP. Time's up on silence. Time's up on waiting. Time's up on tolerating discrimination, harassment and abuse,” Ferrera wrote.


E! orders 'Citizen Rose,' documentary series about Rose McGowan

Rose McGwoan (Richard Shotwell / Invision)
Rose McGwoan (Richard Shotwell / Invision)

E! is enlisting in the #RoseArmy.

On Tuesday, the network ordered “Citizen Rose,” a documentary series that will follow actress and filmmaker Rose McGowan, who in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal has also become one of Hollywood’s most outspoken activists.

The five-part limited series is “a project that reflects a dramatically changing world,” according to E!, and will take viewers behind the scenes of McGowan’s “tumultuous and fascinating life” as she prepares to release her memoir, “Brave,” and rallies her supporters on social media. 

The series, executive produced by McGowan and Bunim-Murray Productions, the company behind unscripted staples such as “The Real World” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” will debut in the spring with a two-hour documentary followed by four additional episodes. 

“I am thrilled to partner with E! to amplify my message of bravery, art, joy and survival,” McGowan said in a statement. 

Previously best known for her role in the the TV series “Charmed,” McGowan has more recently become a vocal advocate for survivors of rape, assault and harassment and for systemic change within the entertainment industry. She was one of the first women in the industry to speak out against film producer Weinstein, whom she has accused of rape,  and was among the “Silence Breakers” honored by Time magazine as 2017’s person of the year. Her outspoken nature has also provoked controversy: In October, her Twitter account was briefly suspended, prompting a fierce backlash online, and police in Virginia issued an arrest warrant for drug charges in what McGowan has characterized as an effort to keep her silent. 

“Rose McGowan’s courage in addressing sexual abuse and harassment in Hollywood ignited a conversation and inspired other women to speak out against their abusers,” said Amy Introcaso-Davis, executive vice president of development and production at E!, in a press statement. “We look forward to taking viewers inside this talented, dynamic woman’s world as the first allegations unfold and she becomes a leading voice in a critical cultural change.”


A Star Is Born: Kate Bosworth turns 35 today

 (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
(Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

I love my job, and I think everyone who is an actor has such a passion for what they do, but there are certain times when the business, the dynamics of it and the negative side, seems to overshadow the joys of it. But when you make relationships with people that are solid and substantial, it makes it feel more real.

Kate Bosworth, 2006

FROM THE ARCHIVES: To greater heights

New Justin Timberlake album coming Feb. 2 ahead of Super Bowl performance

Justin Timberlake is getting back to nature — with a little help from Pharrell Williams, among others.

Timberlake tweeted Monday that his new album, “Man of the Woods,” is coming on Feb. 2 and said, “It’s personal.”

“This album is really inspired by my son, my wife, my family, but more so than any other album I’ve ever written, where I’m from,” he says in an outdoorsy video clip with the announcement that shows him walking in fields of snow, through rows of cornstalks and waist-deep in a lake.

It also shows him working in a recording studio and gives viewers a glimpse of Williams alongside him.

It’s been nearly five years since Timberlake’s previous album, “The 20/20 Experience,” was released in early 2013.

“Man of the Woods” is scheduled to land just three days before Timberlake gets the global spotlight with his performance at Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5, coming 14 years after his Super Bowl duet with Janet Jackson that included her notorious “wardrobe malfunction.”


Jessica Alba, Cash Warren welcome a third child — their first baby boy

 (Emma McIntyre / AFP/Getty Images)
(Emma McIntyre / AFP/Getty Images)

There’s a new man in Jessica Alba’s life: It’s her brand new baby boy.

The “Sin City” actress and her husband, Cash Warren, welcomed their third child — their first son — on New Year’s Eve and shared a sweet photo of the snoozing newborn on Instagram that publicly inducted him into the family of five.

“Hayes Alba Warren 12/31/17 Best gift to ring in the New Year!!” the 36-year-old Honest Co. co-founder wrote. “Cash and I feel so blessed. Haven and Honor are already obsessed with their new baby bro.” 

Alba and Warren, who have been married for nine years, are also parents to daughters Honor Marie Warren, 9, and Haven Garner Warren, 6.

In an homage to the “Dark Angel” alum’s heritage, the couple opted to use Alba’s maiden name as Hayes’ middle name.

As for Warren, he shared an Instagram image of himself gazing at his son and proudly gushed over the swaddled little guy.

“Hayes Alba Warren: You sure know how to ring in the new year!” Warren wrote. “You showed up a few days early but we couldn’t be any happier. Your Mamma is the strongest woman I know ... you’re so lucky to have her by your side. You have two amazing sisters who already adore you and I know you’ll be thankful to have them guide the way.”

The film producer vowed to love and cherish his son and provide him with “a sandbox full of dreams to explore.”


As Gretchen Carlson gets Miss America job, Mallory Hagan says, ‘We did it’

Gretchen Carlson (Charles Sykes / Associated Press)
Gretchen Carlson (Charles Sykes / Associated Press)

And the winner is … Miss America.

The Miss America Organization has chosen Gretchen Carlson, the 1989 titleholder and former “Fox & Friends” cohost, as its new chair and added three other former title holders to its board of directors in the wake of an email scandal that saw the head of the contest and other executives resigning. 

Significantly, the decision comes after Carlson and fellow former Miss Americas Mallory Hagan and Kate Shindle banded together behind a petition last week demanding that the entire Miss America Organization board step down.

“Everyone has been stunned by the events of the last several days, and this has not been easy for anyone who loves this program,” Carlson said Monday in a statement from the organization. “In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America and we appreciate the existing board taking the steps necessary to quickly begin stabilizing the organization for the future.”  

The group’s announcement was a big change from plans it had last week for members of the existing board to put together a search committee to fill positions vacated by former Chairman Sam Haskell and three other executives. 

“We did it. So proud to #StandUP and #befierce with these amazing people: @brent338 @GretchenCarlson @kateshindle,” tweeted Hagan, whose appearance and sexual history were among the targets of the demeaning emails.

In addition to Carlson, Hagan was acknowledging Brent Adams, who presented the emails to Dick Clark Productions in August, resulting in the broadcast production company severing ties with the pageant, and Kate Shindle, Miss America 1998, who was just named to the board. 

Those emails eventually went public on Dec. 21 via the Huffington Post

Heather French Henry and Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, pageant winners from 2000 and 2012, will also serve on the board. At the same time, most previous directors have resigned.

Carlson, 51, notably settled a sexual-harassment claim against former Fox News President Roger Ailes in 2016 for $20 million, leading 21st Century Fox to say in a statement, “We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.”


Heiress Paris Hilton engaged to 'The Leftovers' actor Chris Zylka

 (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Paris Hilton, the hotel heiress who became a reality star and DJ, is going from the simple life to the married life.

Hilton confirmed on Tuesday that actor beau Chris Zylka had popped the question and she said “yas.”

“I said Yas! So happy & excited to be engaged to the love of my life. My best friend & soulmate,” she tweeted, captioning a snowbound photo of “The Leftovers” actor down on one knee, proposing. “Perfect for me in every way. So dedicated, loyal, loving & kindhearted. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! You are my dream come true!”

Zylka, 32, proposed while the couple was vacationing in Aspen over New Year’s weekend, according to People, which first reported the engagement.

“I have never felt so happy, safe and loved. He is perfect for me in every way and showed me that fairytales really do exist!” tweeted Hilton, 36.

The socialite-DJ also told the mag that she was surprised by the proposal and immediately said yes.

“The ring was so gorgeous and sparkling. I was shaking as I put it on. It is the most beautiful ring that I have ever seen!” she said. She gave followers a peek at the massive pear-shaped sparkler by showcasing it in a photo of her kissing the “Amazing Spider-Man” actor.

Gushing over his fiancée, whose name he tattooed on his arm in July, Zylka told People, “Paris is the most beautiful and incredible woman both inside and out.

“I feel like the luckiest man in the world to be marrying my dream girl. I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together.”

The two have been linked since February 2017, when they took their relationship public on social media.


Carrie Underwood 'not quite looking the same' after facial injury that took 40-50 stitches, she says

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The fallout from Carrie Underwood’s freak accident in November was far worse than she initially indicated and included an injury to her face that left her “not quite looking the same.”

The country crooner revealed Sunday in a note to her fan club that the tumble she took outside her Nashville home a few months ago not only broke her wrist but also resulted in a severe facial cut that required “40 to 50 stitches.” 

The 34-year-old Grammy winner, who is the face of Olay and Almay, said that for some time she wasn’t ready to talk about it. That seems to be why she’s recently kept her mug off social media, save for a selfie showing her bundled up in a scarf last week.

“I have still been living it and there has been much uncertainty as to how things will end up,” she wrote in the letter, obtained by People. “It’s crazy how a freak random accident can change your life.”

The “Before He Cheats” singer spared her fans “the gruesome details,” but added, “when I came out of surgery the night of my fall, the doctor told [my husband] Mike that he had put between 40 and 50 stitches in.”

The “American Idol” alum had to back out of performances after the surgery and is still on the mend. She doesn’t know her prognosis, but said she’s grateful.

 “I am grateful that it wasn’t much, much worse. And I am grateful for the people in my life that have been there every step of the way,” she said.

“I am determined to make 2018 amazing and I want to share things with you along the way,” Underwood continued. “And when I am ready to get in front of a camera, I want you all to understand why I might look a bit different.”

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' unseats 'Beauty and the Beast' as highest-grossing film of 2017

The Force remains strong with “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” as the latest installment of the “Star Wars” saga is projected to become the highest-grossing film of 2017 on the final day of the year.

Disney’s space odyssey grossed $52.4 million Friday through Sunday, bringing its projected 2017 gross to $517.1 million, edging out fellow Disney property “Beauty and the Beast,” which grossed $504 million earlier in the year.

Although “The Last Jedi” is projected to win the weekend proper, Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” may prove to carry the holiday.


A Star Is Born: Grandmaster Flash turns 60 today

 (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

I think hip-hop is the only music that integrates rock, pop, jazz, blues and R&B, but radio has become very sectioned. I just came back from doing a tour in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur, and it's amazing how you can hear all this on one radio station -- not just in a mix but regularly played.

Grandmaster Flash, 2005

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' unseats 'Beauty and the Beast' as highest-grossing film of 2017

The Force remains strong with “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” as the latest installment of the “Star Wars” saga is projected to become the highest-grossing film of 2017 on the final day of the year.

Disney’s space odyssey grossed $52.4 million Friday through Sunday, bringing its projected 2017 gross to $517.1 million, edging out fellow Disney property “Beauty and the Beast,” which grossed $504 million earlier in the year.

Although “The Last Jedi” is projected to win the weekend proper, Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” may prove to carry the holiday.


A Star Is Born: Anthony Hopkins turns 80 today

 (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The whole tendency now is to improvise everything. ... And maybe 30, 40 years ago this naturalistic approach, where you looked beyond the text for the character, was considered a necessary antidote to some of the excesses of the past. But now it's gone the other way. It's become lazy and indulgent, and I think it's got to go back to what was told to us when we first learned Shakespeare. That if you speak the verse, you don't have to amble around looking for subtext. You know? Just say the lines.

Anthony Hopkins, 1997

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Speaking Freely of 'Amistad'


A Star Is Born: Patti Smith turns 71 today

 (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

My goal was just stir things up. It was the same when I started doing poetry in 1971. I thought the format of reading poetry was getting really dead, and I still believed it could be a viable force, a great communication outlet. My motivation was to try to put the blood back into the form — to get it away from being so boring. It was the same thing later with rock 'n' roll.

Patti Smith, 1995

Ava DuVernay envisions a bold future with Beyonce, Blue Ivy and more in Jay-Z's star-studded 'Family Feud' video

Jay-Z's "Family Feud" video, directed by Ava DuVernay None
Jay-Z's "Family Feud" video, directed by Ava DuVernay

Just as a tumultuous 2017 approaches its end, Jay-Z and filmmaker Ava DuVernay have teamed up to put a hopeful spin on the future in the music video for “Family Feud” — and to help they have a powerhouse lineup of cameos by Michael B. Jordan, Thandie Newton, “Moonlight” actor Trevante Rhodes, Jessica Chastain, Omari Hardwick and more — including Queen B herself, Beyoncé.

“Family Feud,” a track from Jay-Z’s introspective “4:44,” would generate plenty of buzz without the extra dash of star power thanks to the raw accusations of infidelity Beyoncé sang about on “Lemonade.”  And indeed, in one “Family Feud” sequence, the rapper performs his verses walking hand in hand into church with daughter Blue Ivy before confessing his marital sins to Beyoncé herself. 

But the refrain “Nobody wins when the family feuds” doesn’t apply only to the Carters. What precedes Jay-Z’s own meta-family moment gives “Family Feud” breathtakingly expansive new life, delivered in a time-hopping cinematic prelude with pointedness and purpose by “Selma” and “The 13th” director DuVernay (whose Disney sci-fi fantasy epic “A Wrinkle in Time” opens March 9). 

DuVernay, who wrote the video with Jay-Z, offered additional insights into the making of the “Family Feud” film on Twitter. “In this future, due to harm currently being done, America demands that the position of POTUS be filled by two people,” she said, explaining why Hardwick’s president is joined by a Madam President played by Native American actress Irene Bedard.

Newton, Jordan and Rhodes play out Shakespearean familial dysfunction in the year 2444. Fifty years later, Hardwick plays a descendant who governs alongside Bedard; his family skeletons are called into question by a journalist figure played by Chastain. The family is Jay-Z’s; it is ours; it’s America; it’s the future. 

Between eras we see flashes of war (featuring America Ferrera and “Wrinkle in Time” actress Storm Reid), peace (kept by Emayatzy Corinealdi and David Oyelowo, both of whom starred in DuVernay’s second feature, “Middle of Nowhere”), and one particularly striking scenario: eight “Founding Mothers” played by Mindy Kaling, Janet Mock, Brie Larson, Niecy Nash, Susan Kelechi Watson, Constance Wu, Rosario Dawson and Rashida Jones, assembled to fix the Constitution.

With an opening salvo from James Baldwin, lines of dialogue from the 8-minute film ring with history and intention: “America is a family, and the whole family should be free." Just the sort of cinematic surprise to inspire the coming year’s resolutions.

Tidal has the video debut of “Family Feud.” (Warning: contains profanity.) 



Luann de Lesseps of ‘Real Housewives’ going to rehab after drunken arrest

Luann de Lesseps' Christmas weekend booking photo. (Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office via Associated Press)
Luann de Lesseps' Christmas weekend booking photo. (Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office via Associated Press)

“Real Housewives of New York” star Luann de Lesseps says she’s checking herself into rehab for treatment after a drunken arrest Christmas weekend in Palm Beach, Fla.

“After the events of last Saturday night in Palm Beach, I am truly embarrassed,” she wrote Friday in a statement on Instagram, apologizing for her behavior. “I have decided to seek professional guidance and will be voluntarily checking into an alcohol treatment center. I intend to turn this unfortunate incident into a positive life changing event.”

Police were called to the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach on Saturday night and told an intoxicated woman was trespassing in another person’s room and refused to leave, WPTV reported Sunday.

Before calling police, hotel security tried to get a man and woman out of a room that wasn’t theirs, WPTV said, citing an arrest report. They had entered while housekeeping was doing turn-down service, were in bed together when security showed up and refused to leave, the report said.

The man, who was gone before police arrived, was someone De Lesseps had “previously dated,” her friend Julie Olson told Page Six. The arrest document reportedly said Olson was in the room with De Lesseps when police arrived, but Olson said she had only made it to the hallway after the man came to her in the hotel bar and asked her to help De Lesseps understand she was in the wrong room.

After police arrived, the “RHONY” star allegedly locked herself in a bathroom, according to WPTV; when an officer tried to get her out, De Lesseps allegedly pushed him in the chest and hit him in the forehead with the door.

She allegedly resisted being handcuffed and later slipped out of her cuffs and tried to exit a police car, kicking the door to keep it from closing when she was put back in, WPTV reported. 

De Lesseps was arrested on felony charges of battery on a police officer, resisting arrest with violence and crimes against a person, and a misdemeanor charge of disorderly intoxication, according to the Palm Beach Post

An assistant state’s attorney said De Lesseps slammed a door, kicked at least one officer and said, “I’m going to … kill you all,” the Post reported. She was released from jail on her own recognizance around noon on Sunday and allowed to return home to New York. 

Apparently her first trip to Palm Beach since her wedding late last year had “brought up long-buried emotions,” she told CNN in a statement Sunday. De Lesseps and second husband Tom D’Agostino were married in grand style on Dec. 31, 2016, and divorced by October, with drama along the way

De Lesseps’ arrest, which wasn’t filmed, will definitely be a storyline on the upcoming “RHONY” season, an insider told People

She’s due back in a Florida court on Jan. 25.

Rose Marie remembered as 'one of the original ... wisecracking women in comedy'

Star of stage and screen Rose Marie, best known for her work as comedy writer Sally Rogers on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” died Thursday at age 94.

Throughout her career, which spanned nine decades, beginning as a child performer in vaudeville, Marie garnered many high-profile fans, several of whom mourned her passing on Twitter.

“I was so sad to learn of the passing of Rosemarie,” wrote Marie’s “Dick Van Dyke” costar Carl Reiner. “There’s never been a more engaging & multi-talented performer.”

U2, Guns N' Roses were 2017's top tours

U2 guitarist The Edge, left, and lead singer Bono at the Forum (Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times)
U2 guitarist The Edge, left, and lead singer Bono at the Forum (Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times)

Rock and roll may not appear to be so relevant on the pop charts these days, but it’s still a dominant force on live stages.

The concert-industry trade publication Pollstar released its list of the top-grossing tours of 2017, and rock-leaning acts took many of the top slots. 

U2 claimed the peak spot with its leviathan Joshua Tree Tour, which sold 2.71 million tickets for a gross of $316 million. Right on the act’s heels was a reunited Guns N’ Roses,  which grossed $292.5 million on 2.68 million tickets. (U2, on average, charged $40 more per ticket than Guns N’ Roses).

Coldplay and Bruno Mars (the highest-ranking solo act on the list) came in at third and fourth, respectively, with grosses of $238 million and $200.1 million.

Garth Brooks was the highest-charting country artist on the list, at  No. 10, wrapping up the last of his three-year return tour. At  No. 11, Celine Dion was the top-grossing female act this year. Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd and Ariana Grande all made the top 20. 

One question remains: How to count Bruce Springsteen?

His two tours — one for his Broadway show, the other for his E Street band show — are very different formats. Pollstar said it is crunching numbers and will soon release a revised list that reflects Springsteen’s two rankings.


A Star Is Born: Marianne Faithfull turns 71 today

 (Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)
(Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)

I didn't like that feeling of being a starlet. I felt used, not in a good way.

Marianne Faithfull, 2008
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