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April - June 2009

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The Associated Press

Clay Aiken Called a "Spectacular Father"

Clay Aiken called a 'spectacular father'

By MICHAEL WEINFELD – 10 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Music producer David Foster sees nothing strange about his sister Jaymes having a baby with Clay Aiken.

David Foster told AP Radio "She's very close with Clay, they're best friends. It made perfect sense to me that he'd want to have a child with his best friend."

Jaymes Foster gave birth to Parker Foster Aiken last August, conceived by in-vitro fertilization. Her brother considers it "a very normal situation."

David Foster finds Aiken to be a "spectacular father" and Jaymes "a natural mother."

He says Jaymes, also a music producer, "always wanted a child, so it kind of worked out."

He doesn't know what their plans are for raising the baby. "They're working it out. I don't know quite how. It's a bicoastal thing."

David Foster, who has worked with the likes of Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion, writes about his sister's relationship with Aiken in his autobiography, "Hitmaker."

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msnbc.com

Clay Aiken Judges "Top Models" on Acting

Clay Aiken judges ‘Top Models’ on acting

‘It was interesting to be on the other side of the table,’ says ‘Idol’ alum

updated 52 minutes ago

RALEIGH, N.C. - Performer Clay Aiken says he thinks his “American Idol” experience helped contestants appreciate his comments when he was a judge in an episode of “America’s Next Top Model” due to be aired Wednesday.

“It was interesting to be on the other side of the table and think of all these things that I went through in 2003,” Aiken told The Associated Press in a phone interview, referring to the year he finished second to Ruben Studdard during the second season of Fox’s hit reality show.

“I think the girls kind of appreciated that, the fact that I had been in a similar position,” Aiken, 30, said in the Friday interview. “I was going to be a judge, yes, but be a judge who understood a little bit about what they’re going through.”

Story continues below ↓advertisement | your ad here

Aiken’s stint as a judge and opposite the contestants in an acting scene airs Wednesday night on the CW Network. He said he was selected to judge acting because of his time in “Monty Python’s Spamalot” on Broadway and because the competition focused on stage acting.

It also didn’t hurt that the show’s host and creator, Tyra Banks, has been a friend since Aiken appeared on her talk show in 2006.

Aiken appears with the contestants in a quick scene designed “to show their ability to act in a large and comedic way,” he said. “A lot of the struggle for these contestants is to be able to come out of their shells.”

He doesn’t know who won the season, although he does know who gets voted off Wednesday. One clue is that the women who stay are “the people who are willing to be themselves and not worry,” he said.

Aiken, who was famously remade during his time on “Idol,” said he was out of his element for the fashion part of “ANTM.” “I’m wearing a UNICEF T-shirt and University of Tennessee pajama pants,” he said. “I can’t judge that.”

Except for a temporary gig in New York while performing on Broadway, Aiken has lived in Raleigh for the past three years. Right after “Idol” ended, he lived in Los Angeles, but was unhappy there.

Aiken demurred from answering any questions about his son, Parker Foster Aiken, who was born in August to his friend, Jaymes Foster, and was conceived by in-vitro fertilization. Her brother, music producer David Foster, told AP Radio last week that Aiken is a “spectacular father” and Jaymes is “a natural mother.”

Aiken’s recording contract with RCA has ended, and he said he’s considering other labels, while also looking at stage and television offers.

“All three look enticing, and I’m in the luxurious position of letting them sit down and come to me,” he said.

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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people.com

Clay Aiken Joins BFF Tyra Banks on "Top Model"

Clay Aiken Joins BFF Tyra Banks on Top Model

By Mark Dagostino

Originally posted Wednesday April 08, 2009 12:25 PM EDT

No stranger to reality-show stardom, Clay Aiken steps into America's Next Top Model Wednesday night. Just don't look for him on the catwalk.

"Every year [the models] do an acting challenge, and since I had been in Spamalot and was doing the Broadway thing, Tyra [banks, the show's host] called and wanted me to be a part of it," Aiken, 30, tells PEOPLE.

"I did a scene with some of the girls and then later on tried to help judge that scene," he explains.

The aspiring models were all excited to meet the former American Idol singer. "It was kind of neat to be able to talk to some kids who were going through something similar to what I had been through so many years ago on Idol," he says, observing what he termed their "reality-show stress."

"I was on the other side of the table for once," he says, "which was a surreal experience for me."

'We Just Clicked'

Clay was delighted to help, given he's such good friends with Tyra Banks, 35. "I love her to death," he says. "For some reason we just clicked when we first met, and we try to stay in touch and see each other whenever we're in town."

Of the supermodel mogul, Aiken says: "She's such a real person, and I think that's something people didn't know about her until her talk show. She doesn't try to be something she's not. She'll be as nerdy as she needs to be, or whatever she needs to be. I think that's why people are attracted to her, and I think that's why we became friends."

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broadway.com

Clay Aiken, Linda Eder and More Hit Tavern for Family Equality

Clay Aiken, Linda Eder and More Hit Tavern for Family Equality

4/21/09

Broadway.com and many others joined forces on April 21, coming together for a Night At The Tavern, a benefit evening for New York-based advocacy group, the Family Equality Council. Recording artist and Broadway alum Clay Aiken was honored at the upscale event, held at NYC landmark Tavern on the Green, while fellow vocalist and Broadway powerhouse Linda Eder provided a special performance to entertain guests and committee members. The Family Equality Council, whose mission is to ensure equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered families by building community, advocating for acceptance and advancing social justice for all families, was founded in 1979 by a group of gay fathers, eventually expanding to encompass any member of the LGBT community. In additional to honoring Aiken, A Night At The Tavern also presented Terry Boggis, director of Center Kids at New York’s LGBT Center with the Hostetter-Habib Family Award, raised funds through a silent auction and gave advocates a chance to mix and mingle for a worthy cause. Click here to spend a night out at the Tavern yourself.

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A warm welcome for the VIPs! Honoree Clay Aiken hits the event with special guest performer and fellow Broadway alum Linda Eder.

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New dad Clay Aiken isn’t hitting the event solo…

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…he’s got representatives from his fan club to make sure he’s in good company!

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Terry Boggis and Clay Aiken may have been the night’s honorees, but the real winners are the families that will benefit from the Family Equality Council’s efforts.

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justjared.com

Just You, Clay Aiken

SUN, 26 APRIL 2009 AT 3:58 PM

Just You, Clay Aiken

Clay Aiken emerges from the Byron & Tracey hair salon with a stylish new do on Saturday (April 25) in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The 30-year-old former American Idol contestant just shared an unreleased track called “Just You,” which was recorded around the time of his 2006 album A Thousand Different Ways. You don’t have to pay a penny for the track but Clay blogged, “I encourage you… I ask of you… that you make a donation to the Bubel/Aiken Foundation for how ever much you feel the song is worth. If you want to give $1… great. If you want to give $1000… GREAT… if you can only give $.05 … that’s fine too. It’s a tough time we’re living through nowadays.”

Download here but donate at BubelAiken.org.

CLAY AIKEN - “HONOR SYSTEM” - 04/24/09

What an interesting afternoon! You have kept my attention longer than I thought possible. If only my homework in high school had held my attention as long, huh?

Lots of interesting questions today and lots of energy. One question in particular got me (and Jaymes) to thinking. “Clay, will you ever record … Just You?”

Well folks… truth is.. . I did. Long ago. As a matter of fact It was one of the first songs we recorded for the album A Thousand Different Ways. It was recorded before the label asked me to do the album of cover love songs and before the budget was officially approved, so I actually paid for it myself. Then, as I recall, when the decision was made to do the cover album, the label opened a budget for the album, but it did not include reimbursing me for songs I had recorded that did not fit the concept. So, here I have had this song all along that, to my knowledge, I own the only copy of. What to do with it.. what to do? Well, this evening (with some encouragement from Jaymes) I decided…. let’s just give it to them. Why not? We do have plans (which we will tell you about eventually) to be back in the studio and record in the near future, but until then… you might as well get a bit of something you haven’t been able to hear in a while. “New” music.

Now… here’s the deal. I want to give it to you because you deserve it. You’ve stuck by me and been patient for a long time. But, also, I really have to give it to you. Since I didn’t write it or produce it, I can’t sell it to you… but I hate to encourage getting music for free. You all have always been SOOOO ethical when it has come to downloading music. I know my fans are probably some of the most scrupulous in the country and I believe that you never steal music. That said… We are gonna do this on the “honor system”… Go ahead…. download the song. It’s yours. Share it with your friends. It’s free. But… I want to make it count for someone… so let’s make it count for tens of thousands of children in the US with developmental disabilities If you can’t afford anything for it.. then don’t pay… but… if you can… I encourage you… I ask of you… that you make a donation to the Bubel/Aiken Foundation for how ever much you feel the song is worth. If you want to give $1… great. If you want to give $1000… GREAT… if you can only give $.05 … that’s fine too. It’s a tough time we’re living through nowadays, and non-profits are hurting more than ever as well. BAF (which will soon be known by a different name) has had amazing success in fulfilling it’s mission, and is embarking on a long term plan to continue including kids in every aspect of life. But, it will continue to need help from all of us in order to make that possible.

Consider this track a “charity recording” …. donate whatever you can or whatever you are willing to… and accept our thanks.

The song is for you…JUST YOU… from me.

c

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mtv.com

Mary J. Blige, Clay Aiken Loved Singing for "30 Rock"

Mary J. Blige, Clay Aiken Loved Singing For '30 Rock'

Singers had a blast participating in season finale's 'Kidney Now!' benefit show.

By Jocelyn Vena and Sabrina Rojas Weiss

Learning that Clay Aiken is the cousin of NBC's most cheerful employee, Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer), was almost as shocking as seeing the rest of the star-studded crowd Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) could coerce into participating in his "Kidney Now!" benefit concert on the season finale of "30 Rock."

In the episode, Aiken and a slew of famous faces, like Mary J. Blige, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello and Cyndi Lauper, joined in Jack's effort to find a kidney donor for Milton Greene (Alan Alda), the man who may or may not be his father. Aiken says it was an honor to be involved.

" '30 Rock' is not only the funniest show on TV now; it's also the smartest," Aiken told MTV News in a statement. "Things that you see or hear on that show start popping up in everyday life all of the time. I don't think any show since 'Seinfeld' has been able to do that."

Like "Seinfeld," these days Liz Lemon and her motley crew leave the "American Idol" alum in stitches every week. " 'Seinfeld' had 'yada, yada, yada' and 'master of your domain.' '30 Rock' has "That's a deal-breaker, ladies' and many more. I find myself saying 'What the what?' all of the time. They've really broken into the zeitgeist like no other show has."

Given the subtle reveal of Aiken's newfound "cousin," it sounds like the "Spamalot" star might have an opening to return for another stint.

Blige also loved the experience of guest-starring on the show. "I had so much fun!" she told MTV News. "Everyone was so nice and respectful of each other, and it felt like family. I couldn't stop laughing in-between takes. I was sad when I left; I wanted to come back the next day."

In case you missed it, the episode's "We Are the World"-style benefit show also included Adam Levine, Beastie Boys Mike D and Ad-Rock, Michael McDonald, Sara Bareilles, Wyclef Jean, Norah Jones, Talib Kweli, Rhett Miller, Moby, Robert Randolph, Steve Earle and Rachael Yamagata.

And it turns out their efforts weren't just for laughs. In real life, proceeds from iTunes purchases of the song will help benefit the National Kidney Foundation.

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The Associated Press via Yahoo! News

Clay Aiken Sounds Off on "American Idol," Lambert

Clay Aiken sounds off on `American Idol,' Lambert

Fri May 22, 3:44 pm ET

NEW YORK – Clay Aiken is no fan of Adam Lambert.

The "American Idol" also-ran has blasted this season's runner-up on his Web site, mocking Lambert's rendition of "Ring of Fire" as "contrived," "awful" and "slightly frightening."

According to Aiken, he tunes into the show about once a season — and this year, he caught Lambert's take on Johnny Cash and thought his ears would bleed.

But wait — there's more. Aiken aims his vitriol on "Idol" itself. He thinks the series showed bias for Lambert over eventual champ Kris Allen and has focused on "slick productions and polished contestants" rather than raw talent.

Aiken lost out to Ruben Studdard in 2003. He's since released several albums, appeared on Broadway and publicly confirmed he's gay.

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Reality Rocks! Music Blog

Aiken's Lambert Rant: Claymate Turns to Clayhate

Aiken's Lambert Rant: Claymate Turns To Clayhate

Posted Fri May 22, 2009 11:03am PDT by Lyndsey Parker in Reality Rocks

Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert's names have been linked quite a bit in the media lately--not just because of rumors (reported in the Chicago Sun-Times last week) that Clay actually wanted to record a duet with Adam, but because after Adam's shocking second-place finish on American Idol this week, many Lambert supporters have predicted that Adam will follow in Clay's footsteps and ultimately be more successful than the singer who actually won this year, Kris Allen.

But yesterday on his official website, ClayOnline.com, Clay Aiken made it clear in a personal blog titled "Silence Broken" that he is not a Lambert supporter at all.

Posting in the subscription-only "Ultimate Membership" section of his site, Clay responded to a fan's query about his opinions on Wednesday night's Idol finale with this rant:

"Now that it's all over, and for the record.... I couldn't be happier about the way AI ended this year. I only turn the show on once a season, and only to see what the set looks like each year. This year, I happened to turn it during the minute that Adam Lambert was singing 'Ring of Fire' and, at that moment, thought my ears would bleed. Contrived, awful, and slightly frightening! I wasn't really a fan and found myself surprised whenever folks told me that they liked him. Granted, I never saw another performance (and many folks who I trust said that he was great) but I can't imagine I would have enjoyed it. Just not my cup of tea at all. To each his own. I never saw Kris sing on the show, but whether he was good or not is really relative. It's usually a matter of taste, right? But Idol is not always a matter of musical taste only. It's about the person you like. From what little I saw, Kris seemed likable. (That's not to say that Adam isn't just as likable as anyone.. maybe more so... I don't know) When Ruben and I were standing next to each other every night (many years ago) you had two equally talented, equally unlikely, equally unpolished contestants.... so it really was a matter of taste as to who was voted for. While some may argue that one of us was hyped more than the other, I don't feel that was the case. However, this year, there was an obvious bias. Not even having watched the show, I can tell you that I was WELL aware of the bias from the judges as to who should win. In my opinion, that is awfully unattractive. I don't think I am alone."

Wow! And...MEOW!

Surely some will jump to the conclusion that Clay's bitter post was spurned by his un-amicable split with BMG and 19 Entertainment, or by 19's rumored attempts to prevent Clay from collaborating with Adam. And it does seem that if there's any "feud" going on here, it's between Clay and the Idol machine, not Clay and Adam himself.

The blog continues:

"In my opinion, it all often comes down to that last night of voting. Until the finale, folks are voting for the contestant that they want to see continue. But, I believe that on that last night, the dynamic changes. No longer forced to choose one person that they want to see win, the audience can effectively vote AGAINST the person that they don't want to see win. In the case of season two this might have happened. There may have been some folks who voted for myself or Ruben because they didn't like the other of us. I was the nerdy little girly boy who some didn't want to see win, so they may have voted for Ruben. I don't know. .. But again, I feel that Ruben and I were fairly matched. We both had our detractors and negatives, but I feel we were both very worthy of being on that stage in that moment, and either of us would have been worthy of winning. The show was different then, and folks made it in seasons 1-3 because they were 'real' people who happened to sing/entertain well. But, somewhere along the way, AI stopped being about real people.

In a battle between David and Goliath, my money is on David!

I think many voters got sick of being 'told who to vote for'. I think many were turned off by the blatant favoritism shown towards one contestant. Therefore, on that last night, they used their votes against a contestant that they were tired of hearing about and for the contestant who had been written off. And, at the same time, I think they voted AGAINST an American Idol that has, for four years now, been more about the slick productions and polished contestants than it has been about finding the raw talent that it did in its first three seasons.

Those votes for Kris were also votes to return the show to its roots of finding 'real' contestants with undiscovered talent and giving them the chance to grow and shine. They were votes that said 'we're tired of seeing contestants who already seem to know it all'.

Will American Idol choose to listen to the resounding and clarion call that those voters gave them?.... 'Enough with the pretention. More Rubens, more Clays, more Fantasias and Tamyras and Kellys please.' My faith has always been in the voters. I think they have gotten it right every year (mine included). It's now up to American Idol to decide if it will finally REALLY listen to the folks that keep it on the air."

Hmmm...but you know, maybe Clay's motives aren't so sinister after all. Maybe (despite his claim that he never saw Kris perform on the show, which seems odd) he just prefers Kris Allen's music--which, like Clay's, is pretty safe, sweet, and mellow. However, if Clay WAS trying to record a duet with Adam, this blog sure isn't going to help his chances. Maybe he should try to collaborate with Kris instead?

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Clay Aiken Official Fan Club

This blog from Clay was placed on the public side of his fan club.

05/22/09300

Wow! Such Influence! ha ha!

Who knew I had so much influence and that my words and opinion mattered so much to so many people!?!?! HA HA HA I'll be the first to admit that my opinion is just that, only my opinion, but for as much as some of the bloggers seem to dislike me and care so little about my thoughts, they sure can waste a lot of their space on what I say! If only many of them took the time to pay attention to important things like the US economy and the welfare of the world's children. But... nah... I could blog about that type of stuff anytime and most wouldn't think twice, but let me say something that they can pick and choose quotes and misinterpret me... and it's showtime! I never assumed my opinion mattered so much! I guess I may have been wrong.

That said, since my previous blog got dissected like a biology lab frog, i suppose I should clarify and even retract some of what I wrote.

I am sure that some were upset by my choice of words describing my opinion of a performance I heard from Adam Lambert. I hope no one actually believed that blood truly poured forth from my ears when I heard him. I obviously meant it as a colorful statement to imply that I did not enjoy what I heard. Any performer hopes that their music will appeal to all people, but no singer realistically expects it to. God knows, I am SURE there are PLENTY of people who can't stand to hear me sing either. I wouldn't dream of assuming that, and I am sure that far worse things have been said about my performances than I would even venture to type here. To me, that's fine. I don't expect unanimous, nor even majority support for my music. But, my guess is Adam doesn't either. I would not venture to make judgements on the personality or demeanor of anyone I don't know, so none of what I said in my previous blog was directed as a "slam" on Adam as a person. At the same time, I wouldn't dream of slamming him as an entertainer. He does what he does, because he enjoys it, and he obviously has many fans who enjoy it as well. If what i said in my previous blog regarding my impression of a single performance from Adam upset or offended any of his fans, I expect that the mature ones will realize that it was simply a poorly worded metaphor describing my personal tastes. The only person I would really dream of apologizing to is Adam. And the irony is, if he's smart he couldn't give a crap what I think of his Ring of Fire performance. As an entertainer, Adam knows that one person's opinion of one performance really matters a little less than zero, in the grand scheme of things. He could not have gotten on Idol (nor made it as far as he did) without an immense amount of talent. He surely doesn't need my approval to know he has a gift. At the same time, he realizes that amazing talent doesn't always equal universal appeal. (I could NEVER have the amount of skill and talent that ballet dancers have! that's talent! But, I don't particularly enjoy it!) I am sure that I will have plenty of opportunities in the coming years to hear Adam sing. I imagine he'll be around for years to come. But in the meantime, I definitely don't want to stoop to the level of so many negative freaks on the internet... so, I do apologize to Adam for my colorful (and negative) choice of words. I hope he can forgive me. I imagine he doesn't give a damn! :-) God knows he shouldn't. :-)

Now, for those of you who are able to comment on this.... lets take bets as to which bits and pieces of this blog will end up mass distributed. Be creative.... they don't seem to care about punctuation or whether or not they use all of the words in a sentence... so, have fun.... ;-)

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The Associated Press via Yahoo! News

Clay Aiken: Sorry for My "Colorful" Critique, Adam

Clay Aiken: Sorry for my 'colorful' critique, Adam

Sat May 23, 2:24 pm ET

NEW YORK – Clay Aiken says blood didn't truly pour forth from his ears when he heard runner-up Adam Lambert sing "Ring of Fire" — and hey, he's sorry for his "colorful choice of words."

The former Idol contestant writes in a blog on his Web site dated Friday that "I obviously meant it as a colorful statement to imply that I did not enjoy what I heard." He also says he didn't mean it as "a 'slam' on Adam as a person."

He had blasted Lambert's take on the classic Johnny Cash tune as "contrived," "awful" and "slightly frightening." Aiken says he hopes Lambert can forgive him — but adds Lambert probably doesn't care about what he said.

Aiken lost out to Ruben Studdard in 2003. He's since released several albums, appeared on Broadway and publicly confirmed he's gay.

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New York Observer

David Viglioano Out With a Christmas Book by Clay Aiken

David Vigliano Out With a Christmas Book By Clay Aiken

By Leon Neyfakh

June 18, 2009 | 2:20 p.m

Lit agent David Vigliano is out with a proposal for a Clay Aiken book based on the American Idol star’s 2006 Christmas special.

“He’s got a very strong Christian audience, primarily because he’s from the South, and that’s an audience that seems to respond to Christmas stories,” said Mr. Vigliano. “He also had the best-selling Christmas album”—that’d be 2004’s Merry Christmas with Love—“and then did a Christmas tour every year since then. So it kind of made sense, because he had kind of an identity doing successful Christmas music.”

Mr. Vigliano, who has been representing Mr. Aiken for just a few months, said his client’s book would be a “modern reinvention of A Christmas Carol.”

Mr. Vigliano said that Mr. Aiken’s co-writer on the book will be Meri Nana-Ama Danquah, author of the memoir Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman's Journey Through Depression and editor of the forthcoming anthology The Black Body, which is out from Seven Stories later this year.

One editor Mr. Vigliano did not submit the book to is Twelve publisher Jonathan Karp, who edited Mr. Aiken’s best-selling 2004 memoir Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music of Your Life for Random House. In an essay for The Washington Post Mr. Karp wrote last year decrying the “relentless, indiscriminate proliferation” of “disposable” books and “the underlying cynicism of the people acquiring, publishing and selling them,” Mr. Karp brought up his acquisition of the Aiken memoir as an example of a time he fell victim to the temptation of cashing in.

"In weaker moments, I've been seduced by tales of celebrity, money, gossip and scandal. Among my crimes: I volunteered to edit a White House memoir by a self-serving egomaniac because I wanted to learn about presidential politics," Mr. Karp wrote. "I worked on a book by Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega because we thought he might be able to provide an illuminating perspective on how the United States wields power in Latin America. And, in an effort to bolster the company's bottom line, I acquired and edited an inspirational autobiography by the pop singer Clay Aiken, written and published in about four months. (For the record, Noriega was a lot more pleasant to deal with than Aiken.)"

Youch!

Asked what he thought of Mr. Karp’s hit on his client, Mr. Vigliano giggled and said he had not been aware of the piece. A sale, he said, is expected to close next week.

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