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12 September 2003

Johnny Cash - 1969





1932 2003


"I wear black for the poor and beaten down..."


JOHNNY CASH was born February 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas. John R Cash was one of six children belonging to Ray and Carrie Rivers Cash. When John was three years old, his father took advantage of a new Roosevelt farm program and moved his young family to Dyess Colony in northeast Arkansas. There the Cash family farmed 20 acres of cotton and other seasonal crops, where John worked alongside his parents and siblings in the fields. Music was an integral part of everyday life in the Cash household. John soaked up a variety of musical influences ranging from his mother’s folk songs, those of the cotton fields and the nearby railroads yards.  In later years Cash would draw from his time in Arkansas for inspiration. "Pickin Time", "Five Feet High And Rising", and "Look At Them Beans" are all reflections from Cash’s early life.


“Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” - the man in black would say, in a voice of quiet intensity ... and the audience would go wild. The Arkansas native worked in a Michigan auto factory, then headed to Memphis, where he became pals with Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun Records. He scored big hits with “I Walk The Line” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and with June Carter, a member of country music’s royal Carter Family - they wed in 1968. When the 70’s rolled around, the man with the deep voice ( and the deep experience of American life ) was in tune with the country craze. He had his own TV show, kept the hits coming, performed at the Nixon White House and on his way to a 1992 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.


“Hello, I’m Johnny Cash”

Those four words resonate throughout the world as much as "In God We Trust" and other familiar phrases which have stood the test of time.

Yet this introduction is no more necessary than telling someone the name of the Mona Lisa when viewing the painting. Johnny Cash is a household name, and his career spans nearly five decades.

Few artists in history have enjoyed the successful career Cash has. Many people described him as a mythical, larger than life figure. Others described him as one of the greatest recording artists of all time.

Yet there is no one description which could adequately fit The Man In Black. He was a complex, unpredictable, ball of talent and energy that no one has ever been able to pigeonhole or categorize.


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Friday, September 12 2003


Music legend Johnny Cash dies at 71

by John Gerome

(Associated Press)


September 12, 2003 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)

Johnny Cash, "The Man in Black" who became a towering figure in American music with such hits as "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line," and "A Boy Named Sue," died Friday. He was 71.

"Johnny died due to complications from diabetes, which resulted in respiratory failure," Cash's manager, Lou Robin, said in a statement issued by Baptist Hospital in Nashville.

He said Cash died at the hospital at 1 a.m. EDT.

"I hope that friends and fans of Johnny will pray for the Cash family to find comfort during this very difficult time," Robin said.

Cash had been released from the hospital Wednesday after a two-week stay for treatment of an unspecified stomach ailment. The illness caused him to miss last month's MTV Music awards, where he had been nominated in seven categories.

Cash had battled a disease of the nervous system, autonomic neuropathy, and pneumonia in recent years.

Dozens of hit records defined Cash's persona: a haunted, dignified, resilient spokesman for the working man and downtrodden.

Cash's deeply lined face fits well with his unsteady voice, which was limited in range but used to great effect to sing about prisoners, heartaches, and tales of everyday life. He wrote much of his own material, and was among the first to record the songs of Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson.

"One Piece at a Time" was about an assembly line worker who built a car out of parts stolen from his factory. "A Boy Named Sue" was a comical story of a father who gives his son a girl's name to make him tough. "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" told of the drunken death of an American Indian soldier who helped raise the American flag at Iwo Jima during World War II, but returned to harsh racism in America.

Cash said in his 1997 autobiography "Cash" that he tried to speak for "voices that were ignored or even suppressed in the entertainment media, not to mention the political and educational establishments."

Cash's career spanned generations, with each finding something of value in his simple records, many of which used his trademark rockabilly rhythm.

Cash was a peer of Elvis Presley when rock 'n' roll was born in Memphis in the 1950s, and he scored hits like "Cry! Cry! Cry!" during that era. He had a longtime friendship and recorded with Bob Dylan, who has cited Cash as a major influence.

He won 11 Grammys - most recently in 2003, when "Give My Love To Rose" earned him honors as best male country vocal performance - and numerous Country Music Association awards. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

His second wife, June Carter Cash, and daughter Rosanne Cash also were successful singers. June Carter Cash, who co-wrote Cash's hit "Ring of Fire" and partnered with her husband in hits such as "Jackson," died in May.

The late 1960s and '70s were Cash's peak commercial years, and he was host of his own ABC variety show from 1969-1971. In later years, he was part of the Highwayman supergroup with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson.

In the 1990s, he found a new artistic life recording with rap and hard rock producer Rick Rubin on the American Recordings label. And he was back on the charts in 2002 with the album "American IV: the Man Comes Around."

Most recently, Cash was recognized for his cover of the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt" with seven nominations at last month's MTV Video Music Awards. He had hoped to attend the event but couldn't because of his hospital stay. The video won an award for best cinematography.

He also wrote books including two autobiographies, and acted in films and television shows.

In his 1971 hit "Man in Black," Cash said his black clothing symbolized the downtrodden people in the world. Cash had been "The Man in Black" since he joined the Grand Ole Opry at age 25.

"Everybody was wearing rhinestones, all those sparkle clothes and cowboy boots," he said in 1986. "I decided to wear a black shirt and pants and see if I could get by with it. I did and I've worn black clothes ever since."

John R. Cash was born Feb. 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Ark., one of seven children. When he was 12, his 14-year-old brother and hero, Jack, died after an accident while sawing oak trees into fence posts. The tragedy had a lasting impact on Cash, and he later pointed to it as a possible reason his music was frequently melancholy.

He worked as a custodian and enlisted in the Air Force, learning guitar while stationed in Germany, before launching his music career after his 1954 discharge.

"All through the Air Force, I was so lonely for those three years," Cash told The Associated Press during a 1996 interview. "If I couldn't have sung all those old country songs, I don't think I could have made it."

Cash launched his career in Memphis, performing on radio station KWEM. He auditioned with Sun Records, ultimately recording the single "Hey Porter," which became a hit.

Sun Records also launched the careers of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and a host of others.

"Folsom Prison Blues," went to No. 4 on the country charts in 1956, and featured Cash's most famous couplet: "I shot a man in Reno/ just to watch him die."

Cash recorded theme albums celebrating the railroads and the Old West, and decrying the mistreatment of American Indians. Two of his most popular albums were recorded live at prisons. Along the way he notched 14 No. 1 country music hits.

Because of Cash's frequent performances in prisons and his rowdy lifestyle early in his career, many people wrongly thought he had served prison time. He never did, though he battled addictions to pills on and off throughout his life.

He blamed fame for his vulnerability to drug addiction.

"When I was a kid, I always knew I'd sing on the radio someday. I never thought about fame until it started happening to me," he said in 1988. "Then it was hard to handle. That's why I turned to pills."

He credited June Carter Cash, whom he married in 1968, with helping him stay off drugs, though he had several relapses over the years and was treated at the Betty Ford Center in California in 1984.

June Carter Cash was the daughter of country music great Mother Maybelle Carter, and the mother of singer Carlene Carter, whose father was country singer Carl Smith. Together, June Carter and Cash had one child, John Carter Cash. He is a musician and producer.

Singer Rosanne Cash is Johnny Cash's daughter from his first marriage, to Vivian Liberto. Their other three children were Kathleen, Cindy and Tara. They divorced in 1966.

In March 1998, Cash made headlines when his California-based record company, American Recordings, took out an advertisement in the music trade magazine Billboard. The full-page ad celebrated Cash's 1998 Grammy award for best country album for "Unchained." The ad showed an enraged-looking Cash in his younger years making an obscene gesture to sarcastically illustrate his thanks to country radio stations and "the country music establishment in Nashville," which he felt had unfairly cast him aside.

Jennings, a close friend, once said of Cash: ``He's been like a brother to me. He's one of the greatest people in the world.''

Cash lived in Hendersonville, Tenn., just outside of Nashville. He also had a home in Jamaica.


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An Unauthorized Biography Of Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash is one of the greatest phenomena in 20th and 21st century recorded music. From his earliest recordings in the 1950s for Sun Records, to his work with producer, Rick Rubin for American Recordings in the first year of the new millennium. The Man In Black has thrilled and inspired successive generations of admirers. Through his music, his TV shows and his many appearances in films, through his tireless commitment to touring and recording, and through his religious beliefs, the word according to Johnny Cash has been one of struggle, heartbreak, loss and reconciliation. Johnny Cash - not just on of our finest singers, songwriters and storytellers but one of the greatest and most enigmatic entertainers of our time.

Johnny Cash, is a man whose whole persona seems to be shrouded in tones of black. His adult life has been a constant struggle against inner demons ... yet it is also one of extraordinary achievements.

His early years were beset by his family's struggles, poverty and grief. But there was always the solace of music

After a stint in the Security Service during the Cold War, Cash returns home to marry and moves to Memphis, the centre of his musical universe. He begins a phenomenally successful stint with Sam Phillips of Sun Records.

The Sun Kings
Together with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash takes his place in the front line of musical and cultural change. His first recording with the Tennessee Two are classic rockabilly hits.  [The Tennessee Two - Marshall Grant (bass 1955-1980) and Luther Perkins (guitarist 1955-1968) - became The Tennessee Three when joined by drummer, WS "Fluke" Holland, in 1960.]

Into The Mainstream
Drugs, marriage and mainstream success - a heady combination, and even at this early stage, the writing is on the wall for Johnny Cash. Life as one of the most respected recording artists of his generation is not going to be an entirely comfortable journey.

New Love
With success comes the collapse of his first marriage and a dependency on narcotics that almost destroys him. But his marriage to June Carter brings personal salvation and the rescue of his career as a performer and recording artist.

Behind The Bars
Cash's greatest commercial success of the 60s comes from his recording performances in two prisons. Folsom and San Quentin. Increasing his myth as the dark soul of country music a novelty song about "A Boy Named Sue" becomes his most renowned pop hit.

Changing fortunes
Johnny Cash's commitment to his faith brings problems of an unexpected nature, but his recording output continues to be prodigious. He scores a second novelty pop hit about a car worker who steals a Cadillac "One Piece At A Time"

The Invisible Eighties
Though absent from the charts during the 1980s Cash's legend continues to grow as he becomes the youngest living person to inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Health problems bring a turnaround in his personal life and is reunited on record with Sun Kings.

The Legend Of An American Recording Artist
Having moved from Columbia to Polygram, his recording career hits rock bottom until a producer, famed for his work with crossover hip hop acts comes to the rescue.. and Johnny becomes hip again

The Wild Horse Tamed At Last
His second autobiography reveals a man who has reined in his wildest demons, perhaps forever. As the century draws to a close there comes more bad news about his health but, Johnny Cash continues to inspire and amaze with a new LP of timeless recordings from this Man In Black.


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Tributes pour in for Johnny Cash

(12 Sep 2003 - Source: ninemsn)

AFP - Johnny Cash, US country music icon for nearly five decades, died here Friday at the age of 71, drawing mournful remembrances from the spectrum of his entertainment brethren as well as the White House.

A contemporary of rock and roll legend Elvis Presley, Cash went on to inspire a generation of rock stars with his rugged, simple style and hits like I Walk the Line, Ring of Fire and A Boy Named Sue.

The singer died at 2:00 am (1700 AEST) at the Baptist Hospital in Nashville, surrounded by his family, said a hospital spokesman.

"Johnny died due to complications from diabetes, which resulted in respiratory failure," his manager Lou Robin said in a statement.

He had been released from the hospital on Tuesday after three weeks of treatment for pancreatitis.

Cash's wife, June Carter Cash, died only in May at the age of 73 and Nashville, the capital of country music, was plunged into mourning as tributes poured in.

Tributes poured in for the "Man in Black," singer of Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk the Line, Ring of Fire, A Boy Named Sue and a host of other worldwide hits.

President George W Bush called Cash "a music legend and an American icon whose career spanned decades and genres.

"His resonant voice and human compassion reached the hearts and souls of generations, and he will be missed," Bush said in a statement, adding that his wife, Laura "joins me in sending our thoughts and prayers to his family."

For blues legend Ray Charles, "The passing today of my old friend, Johnny Cash, makes me very sad.

"When I went to Nashville 40 years ago to record my first country song, Johnny was a very welcoming figure and became a lifelong friend," said Charles. "He made a giant contribution to music ... I will miss him dearly."

"Johnny Cash has always seemed larger than life to me," said Kris Kristofferson, who sang with Cash in the Highwaymen, a loosely structured foursome that included Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.

The four came together to produce three albums between 1985 and 1995.

"He is a true American hero, beloved the world over as much for his kindness and compassion and championing of the underdog as for the power of his art," and Kristofferson.

"And he was damned funny, even in the darkest times."

"There's never been a voice that had that kind of power, that kind of voice-of-God kind of quality to it," said leading country singer Emmylou Harris.

"It's probably one of the most recognizable sounds, certainly in this country, and probably around the world," she added.

Robert Oermann, a Nashville-based country music historian, called Cash's death "a terrible loss to the country music community."

"He cut across ages and music genres. It would be impossible to overstate what a giant he was. He was a champion for the downtrodden, the underdog, the left-behind," Oermann said.

Cash's manager said the prolific singer had been working on an album written after his wife's death, but was overcome by mounting health problems including a disease of the nervous system and pneumonia.

Illness also forced him to miss last month's MTV Video Music Awards, at which he had been nominated in seven categories. He won best cinematography for his video, Hurt, a version of a song by the rock group Nine Inch Nails.

He won 11 Grammys, including one this year for Give My Love To Rose, which earned him the best male country vocal award.

Cash was the first performer to be elected to both the Country Music Hall of Fame (in 1980) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in 1992). He was also inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He had a multitude of international hits, including I Walk the Line, Five Feet High and Rising, Don't Take Your Guns to Town, Big River and Get Rhythm.

Bob Dylan called Cash one of his biggest influences and the two recorded the duet, Girl from the North Country.

Born the son of a poor Arkansas share-cropper at the height of the Great Depression in 1932, Cash began writing songs at the age of 12.

Everything changed in 1955, when he signed for Sam Phillips's legendary Sun label alongside Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis.

He soon left, but in more than 1,500 songs he stayed loyal to his core topics of American life: coal miners, share-croppers, railroad men, blue collar workers, Native Americans, prisoners, cowboys and family men.

Like other music legends, Cash battled drug addiction, alcoholism and brushes with the law.

One of his biggest songs was Folsom Prison Blues, inspired by a documentary about prisons, which contains the chilling line "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die."

He gave regular prison concerts, and a 1969 concert at San Quentin in California produced one of his biggest-selling albums, which featured A Boy Named Sue.

In 1970, Cash had his own television show, performed for President Richard Nixon at the White House, acted with Kirk Douglas in the film, The Gunfight and sang with John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra.

©AAP 2003

September 12, 2003
Statement Issued

by the Cash family
Date: Friday, September 12, 2003 at 17:40:19 (MDT)

- Vale -

 June Carter

 b. 23 June 1929

d. 18 May 2003


June Carter Cash was born in Maces Spring, Virginia, into the most important group in country music history, the Carter Family. Her mother, Maybelle Carter, sang and played guitar with cousins Sara and A.P. and other family members, putting her indelible stamp on folk tunes like "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and "The Wabash Cannonball."

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash - God Bless America

September 9, 2003
Johnny returned to his home in Hendersonville, TN today after being released from Baptist Hospital.
He plans on traveling to California next week where he will continue recording songs for his upcoming American Recordings album.

Date: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 at 20:52:23 (MDT)



Johnny, June, & Junior Cash - 1976 Los Angeles

August 28, 2003
Johnny has been admitted to Baptist Hospital in Nashville due to a stomach condition.
According to his manager, Lou Robin, "Johnny is being held for observation and treatment of this stomach condition and should be released within a few days."

Date: Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 11:54:46 (MDT)

VJ King Jr | Johnny Cash - The Man In Black | Commemorative Poster

Commemorative poster

Johnny Cash - 1976 - Jackson, Tennessee
Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two

March 31, 2003
The following is an update on Johnny's status.
We're happy to officially report that, according to Lou Robin (Johnny's manager) Johnny is doing well and is expected to be released to go home by this weekend.
Lou says that it won't be long before Johnny resumes recording songs for the next album, as well, and that's great news for us all!
Lou explains that once someone is prone to pneumonia, as Johnny is, there will be periods where he will be hospitalized, however routine it may seem at the time.

Date: Monday, March 31, 2003 at 16:30:23 (MST)

Johnny Cash - 1995 Johnny Cash - 1980 Country Music Hall Of Fame
Johnny Cash - 1995 Hall Of Fame

October 18, 2002
MORE KUDOS FOR CASH. The House of Blues has named "Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison" number 3 on their list of the Top 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time.
Date: Thursday, October 17, 2002 at 19:17:39 (MDT)

VJ King Jr | Johnny Cash - The Man In Black | Commemorative Poster

Commemorative poster

Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash - 1988 London
Johnny Cash - Highwayman - 1985 Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash - 1985 Radio City Music Hall


VJ King Jr | Johnny Cash - The Man In Black

VJ King Jr | Johnny Cash - The Man In Black


VJ King Jr | Johnny Cash | The Man In Black


Singer / Songwriter

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  • He has recorded more than 1,500 songs and they can be found on about 500 albums, counting only American and European releases.

  • More of his albums (45) remain in print today than most artists ever make.

  • He is the youngest person ever chosen for the Country Music Hall of Fame and the only person ever selected for the Country and Rock Music Hall of Fame, until 1998, when Elvis Presley was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

  • He has placed 48 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop charts, about the same number as the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys.

  • He has tallied more Pop hit singles than Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson (including his Jackson 5 hits), the Four Seasons, David Bowie, the Supremes, Elton John, Billy Joel, Kenny Rogers, the combined totals of Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon and Simon & Garfunkel, Martin Gaye, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, Kool & the Gang, Linda Ronstadt. Diana Ross, the combined total of all of the Osmond Family, Jerry Lee Lewis and the combined total of Lionel Richie and the Commodores.

  • He has won 11 Grammys, the most recent include the 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2002 shared Grammy for Best Country Album. Two of his Grammys came for writing liner notes, for his At Folsom Prison album and Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline record.

  • Cash's 1987 Grammy came through his participation in The Class Of '55 recordings with the late Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. The project represented a rebirth of "The Million Dollar Quartet" recordings featuring Cash, Perkins, Lewis and the late Elvis Presley and, interestingly enough, it predated Orbison's participation in The Traveling Wilburys.

  • He has had chart success as a solo artist, as part of a duet, as the leader of a trio, and as a part of the award-winning Highwayman quartet.

  • Long before the term "concept album" was coined, Cash created such thematically unified albums Ride This Train (1960), Blood, Sweat, & Tears (1963), Bitter Tears (1964). and Johnny Cash Sings Ballads Of The True West (1965).

  • People forget just how hot Johnny Cash was, when his sales career was at its zenith. In the fall of 1969, Johnny Cash was the hottest act in the world, selling around 250,000 albums per month of his Folsom Prison and San Quentin albums. At that time, he was even outselling the Beatles.

  • As Rich Kinezie observed it Country Music magazine 10 years ago, Cash "strengthened the bonds between folk and country music so that both sides saw their similarities as well as their differences. He helped to liberalize Nashville so that it could accept the unconventional and the controversial and he did as much as anyone to make the 'outlaw' phenomenon possible."

  • As host of The Johnny Cash Show on ABC-TV (1969-1971), he served up 60 hours of prime-time TV, which featured performers like Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Linda Ronstadt, Ray Charles, Neil Young, James Taylor, Neil Diamond, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Kenny Rogers, Roy Orbison, Hank Williams Jr., Dennis Hopper, Judy Collins, Charley Pride, the Oak Ridge Boys, Patti Page and Merle Haggard, most rarely seen on TV back then.

  • His 1975 autobiography Man in Black has so far sold around 1.5 million copies, about 300,000 in hardcover.

  • He is one of the very few people in the history of music to sell more than 50 million records.

  • He has placed at least two singles on the Country charts for 38 consecutive years, including an amazing 25 hits between 1958 and 1960.

  • He produced and co-scripted a movie about the life of Jesus, Gospel Road, and filmed it in Israel. The film was distributed by Billy Graham's organization and is still in great demand today.

  • He has starred in four additional theatrical films including one of the last great westerns, A Gunfight, with Kirk Douglas. In addition, he has been a featured star in seven TV movies including The Pride Of Jessee Hallam, a hard-hitting, poignant story of one man's struggle against illiteracy. The show has proven to be a valuable tool in the battle against illiteracy.

  • He has posted over 130 hits on the Billboard Country singles chart, more than anyone in history, except George Jones. (Discounting duets by both men, Cash's total exceeds Jones.)

  • He has won over two dozen songwriting awards from BMI; two of his songs, Folsom Prison Blues and I Walk The Line have earned million-performance citations from BMI.

  • Over a hundred acts have recorded Cash's I Walk The Line.

  • He has toured extensively for 38 years on a scope far beyond the normal tour bus routine of U.S. honky-tonks, state fairs, and showrooms. Hundreds of thousands of fans in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe have seen The Johnny Cash Show. He has toured in Vietnam and throughout the United States. He has appeared in concert in many Eastern European nations such as Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia.

  • He has fathered four daughters (Rosanne, Tara, Cindy and Kathy) and a son (John Carter), all of whom have performed with him at one time or another. In addition, Rosanne has become one of our country music's top singer-songwriters.

  • Cash's influence on younger musicians in the Rock/Pop field is as strong as it was in the 60's... A group of European musicians last year released Til Things Get Brighter, an album 100% composed of Johnny Cash covers by such acts as Michelle Shocked and Marc Almond. In addition, fresh recordings of Cash classics like I Still Miss Someone and Big River have recently been made by Stevie Nicks and the Beat Farmers. He is a featured guest soloist on U-2's album ZOOROPA.

  • His last three albums earned him Grammy Awards: American Recordings Best Folk Album 1994 Unchained - Best Country Album 1998 and Solitary Man - Best Country Male Vocal Performance 2000. Cash received the most coveted of Grammy award for Lifetime Achievement in 1999.

  • Cash was honored with a Kennedy Center Award in December of 1996.

  • Despite country music stations refusing to play his newer music, Cash and American Recordings were honored with Country Music Television-Europe's #7 Video of the Year for Rusty Cage, and Playboy Magazine honored Cash with the 1998 Music Poll Winner "Hall of Fame" Award.

Source -

VJ King Jr | Johnny Cash | The Man In Black

  VJ King Jr | Johnny Cash - The Man In Black | Commemorative Poster  
  Buy this Commemorative Johnny Cash poster  
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"G'bye, Johnny!"

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