Lecrae

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Lecrae
Billboard12-crayola-lecrae.jpg
Lecrae (left) and Akon (right) at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards
Background information
Birth name Lecrae Moore
Born (1979-10-09) October 9, 1979 (age 34)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Genres Christian hip hop
Occupations Rapper, singer, record producer, actor, entrepreneur
Years active 2004–present
Labels Reach, Cross Movement
Associated acts 116 Clique, Alex Medina, Canon, Don Cannon, Street Symphony
Website www.lecrae.com

Lecrae Moore, mononymously known as Lecrae, is an American Christian hip hop artist rapper and record producer. He is the president, co-owner and co-founder of the independent record label Reach Records, and the co-founder and president of the non-profit organization ReachLife Ministries. To date, he has released six studio albums and two mixtapes as a solo artist, and has released three studio albums, a remix album, and one studio album as the leader of the rap group 116 Clique. He produced much of his earlier material along with other early Reach Records releases.

Moore debuted with Real Talk in 2004 through Reach Records. His third solo album, Rebel, released in 2008, became the first Christian hip-hop album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel chart. Rehab followed in 2010 and garnered a nomination at the 53rd Grammy Awards. Moore began attracting mainstream attention when he performed at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher and appeared on the Statik Selektah song "Live and Let Live" from Population Control. On May 10, 2012, Moore released his first mixtape, Church Clothes, which was hosted by DJ Don Cannon.[1] Considered his breakthrough into mainstream hip-hop, the mixtape was downloaded over 100,000 times in less than 48 hours. His sixth studio album, Gravity, came out on September 4, 2012, and it along with Church Clothes have been called the most important albums in Christian hip hop history.[2][3] The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and won the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards, marking the first time that a Christian hip hop artist received this award. On November 7, 2013, Moore released his second mixtape, Church Clothes 2.

Moore received a nomination for Artist of the Year at the 43rd GMA Dove Awards, and Best Gospel Artist at the 2013 BET Awards. His work has received two Grammy Award nominations, one of which he won, one Billboard Music Award nomination, fourteen Dove Award nominations, four of which he won, four Stellar Award nominations, one of which he won, and a Soul Train Music Award nomination. Moore's filmography includes appearances in several documentaries and short films, a role in the television film A Cross to Bear, and a role as Dr. Malmquist in the upcoming comedy film Believe Me. In the social sphere, Moore has advocated for the preservation of responsibility and fatherhood as a value among men in the United States, and in 2013 partnered with Dwyane Wade and Joshua DuBois in the multimedia initiative This Is Fatherhood as part of the Obama administration's Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative.

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born and raised by his single mother in Southern Houston, Texas, Moore moved often early in life, living in San Diego, Denver, and Dallas. He remembers going to church with his Christian grandmother, but said that it was for "older people" and "wasn't for me."[4] Lecrae never met his father, who ended up becoming a drug addict. Experiencing abuse and neglect during his childhood, Moore used his ability to rap as a source of significance.[4] According to Moore, his grandmother would not allow him to watch rap music videos on television, but he would sneak in late at night. It was in these videos that Moore found individuals to look up to. Moore states that "there were no Barack Obamas, Martin Luther Kings or Malcolm Xs, they had all passed away [not including Barack Obama] so I had Tupac."[4] After being shown a gun by his uncle, Moore began looking up to gangsters and turned to a life of crime.[4] Moore remembers taking a bb gun and standing in the street pointing it to a car, frightening the female driver, simply for fun.[4] At the age of 16, he started taking drugs, fighting, was arrested in high school for stealing, and eventually ended up on a gang list.[4] Moore tried "pretty much every drug there was to try" except for heroin and crack cocaine.[5]

According to CNN, he became a drug dealer and used the Bible that his grandmother gave him as a good luck charm.[6] After being arrested for drug possession, the officer saw the Bible and let Moore go on a promise that he would agree to live by it.[6] He eventually turned from drugs to alcohol consumption and a party lifestyle and became a "misfit of a person."[4] He has described himself during this period as a thrill-seeker, he would pull stunts such as jumping from a third-story building, and gained the nickname "Crazy 'Crae".[5] Encouraged by his concerned mother to read his Bible, Moore said that "I remember ripping the pages out of the Bible and throwing it on the floor. I don’t want this Bible. I couldn’t wrap my hands around this being true or real."[4] He began to drink and smoke more and look for more women "as the emptiness became more profound."[4] At age 17, his personal, financial, and relationship troubles convinced him that he was at a "dead end."[5][7] Wanting to do the "mature thing," the influence of his grandmother gave him a desire to attend church.[7] A girl Moore attended high school with was there, and she invited him to a Bible study, where he met his future wife.[7] Moore was surprised to find that the members of the Bible study "were just people like me. They read the same books and listened to the same music. Their character was just different. They were loving and that’s really what drew me in."[5] Moore says that it was "right after high school" at age 19 that he finally decided to live for God, though "it wasn't overnight" and he "spent a lot of time making bad decisions."[5]

Conversion[edit]

Lecrae attended a conference after being invited by a friend, though Moore admits that his interest was to meet girls and experience the big city. When he arrived at the conference, Moore was awed by the performance of the Christian hip-hop group The Cross Movement. Lecrae says that he saw "guys who had been shot from being in gangs, girls who were extremely promiscuous in the past, I see rappers, dancers and singers; I see people who came from the same background I came from, and they still embodied who they were culturally, but they were all in love with Jesus and I had never seen that before."[4] After hearing Pastor James White of Christ Our King Community Church speak on how Christians are bought with a price and the suffering that Jesus underwent in the Crucifixion, Moore says that he remembers articulating 'God get me out of this, don't kill me; do whatever you have to do to get me out of this, just don’t kill me.'[4][8] Later, Moore was driving on a highway when he turned too quickly and his car went into a roll. He had no seatbelt and the roof and windshield of the car caved in, his glasses were molded into the frame of the car, but he survived completely uninjured.[4] This incident finally convinced him to commit his life to Christ. At the age of 19, Moore became a Christian and went back to his college, the University of North Texas, with a printed version of his testimony to pass out on campus.[8] He started volunteering and performing at a juvenile detention center, and the reception he received convinced him that offering "hope and encouragement" through music was what he wanted to do.[4]

2004–07: Early career, Real Talk, and After the Music Stops[edit]

Five years after his conversion, Moore teamed up with Ben Washer to found Reach Records, and at the age of 25 he released his first album, Real Talk.[8] The following year it was re-released by Cross Movement Records and reached No. 29 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart, staying on the chart for 12 weeks.[9] The album later received a nomination at the 2007 Stellar Awards. In 2005, Moore co-founded the non-profit organization ReachLife Ministries, which equips local Christian leaders with tools, media, curriculum, and conferences that are based on the teachings of the Bible and relevant to hip-hop culture.[10] Also in 2005, the debut album of 116 Clique, The Compilation Album, was released.[11]

After the success of Real Talk, Moore released his second studio album on August 15, 2006. After the Music Stops charted at No. 5 On the Billboard 'Gospel Albums' chart, No. 7 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart and No. 16 on the Billboard Heatseeker Album charts,[12] and received a nomination for a Dove Award, as was the single "Jesus Muzik", featuring Trip Lee. In 2007, 116 Clique released its second album, 13 Letters,[11] reaching No. 10 on the Gospel Albums chart and No. 29 on the Christian Albums chart.[13] 116 Clique also released the remix EP Amped, which peaked at No. 24 on the Gospel Albums chart.[13]

2008–09:Rebel[edit]

On October 8, 2008, Moore's third album, Rebel, entered the Billboard charts at No. 60 with 9,800 units sold and topped the Billboard Gospel Album charts for two weeks, the first hip-hop album to do so.[14][15] It also charted at No. 2 on the Christian Albums chart and No. 15 on the Top Independent charts.[16] In 2009, the album received a nomination at the 40th Dove Awards, as did the Flame song "Joyful Noise", which featured Lecrae and John Reilly.[17] 2009 also saw Moore's first film role, when he appeared in the documentary Uprise Presents: Word from the Street by the UK-based TV channel OHTV.[18]

2010–11: Rehab series[edit]

On February 5, 2010, Moore released a charity single entitled "Far Away", a tribute to the victims of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake. Moore promised that all proceeds from the single's sales would go directly to the Haiti relief effort.[19] A music video for the song premiered five days later.

On July 7, Moore announced on the Reach Records website that the title of his new album would be Rehab.[20] On August 5, 2010, Rapzilla released a new song from Moore called "Amp It Up".[21] Moore subsequently clarified on his Twitter account that the song was not a single from Rehab, but rather a theme song for Kanakuk Kamps, a chain of Christian camps for which he writes songs annually.[22][23] On August 31, 2010, Reach Records revealed the tracklist for Rehab, released it for preorder, and premiered a promotional video "Idols".[24][25] A second promotional video, entitled "I Am Dust", debuted on September 9, 2010.[26] Upon its release, Rehab hit No. 16 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it one of the highest selling Christian hip hop albums at that time.

On September 22, 2010, Rapzilla reported that the Rehab packaging came with an advertisement encouraging buyers to purchase another upcoming album, Rehab: The Overdose, which saw release on January 11, 2011. It included 11 new songs and featured several other Christian artists such as Thi'sl and Swoope.[27] Rehab: The Overdose debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200. On August 29, 2011, Moore announced through Twitter that on September 27, 2011, he would release a special edition of Rehab, entitled Rehab: Deluxe Edition.[28] On the same day, 116 Clique released their fourth album, entitled Man Up.[29]

On September 7, 2011, Rapzilla announced that Moore would be featured on the BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher on October 11, 2011.[30] Moore gained popularity after his verse on the cypher, trended nationwide on Twitter, and was featured on AllHipHop.[31] Moore then appeared as a feature on Statik Selektah's song "Live and Let Live" from his Population Control album.[32]

2012–present: Mainstream breakthrough, Gravity and Anomaly[edit]

On February 16, 2012, Rapzilla announced that Moore was preparing to release his first mixtape, Church Clothes. On May 3, 2012, Moore premiered his music video for the title-track of his Church Clothes mixtape online on XXL.[33] The video was noted for including cameos by Kendrick Lamar and DJ Premier, and attracted almost 20,000 views in less than a day.[33] Hosted by Don Cannon, the mixtape featured the song Darkest Hour, in which Lecrae collaborated with No Malice of Clipse.[34][35][36] Church Clothes was downloaded more than 100,000 times in less than 48 hours on DatPiff.com, and in less than a month reached 250,000 downloads, a platinum rating on Datpiff.com.[37][38] On June 25, 2012, a remastered version of the mixtape, without DJ Don Cannon, was released as an EP for sale on iTunes.[39] Due to issues with sampling, this version was much shorter with only seven songs.[39] Upon its release, the EP debuted on the Billboard charts at No. 10 on both the Christian Albums and Gospel Albums charts for the week of July 14, 2012.[40][41][42]

On April 27, Moore announced that his next album, Gravity, was to be released in late 2012, and recording sessions began in May.[43] On June 21, 2012 Moore appeared live at the Apple Store in Chicago for Black Music Month.[44] The release date for Gravity, September 4, 2012, as well as the album artwork was announced on July 19, 2012 via Rapzilla.[45]

On August 30, 2012, the rapper Saigon announced that Lecrae would be one of the featured artists on his upcoming album The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2: Bread and Circuses, due November 6, 2012.[46]

Gravity was released on September 4, 2012 to critical acclaim.[47] Upon its release, Gravity debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, with 72,000 units sold.[48] The album also debuted at No. 1 on the Christian, Gospel, Independent, and Rap Album charts, No. 3 on the Digital Albums chart, and 24 on the Canadian Albums Chart.[49] After the iTunes deluxe version of the album hit No. 1 on that vendors charts, and the regular version at number No. 2, Time wrote an article about Lecrae and his success with the album.[50]

On November 7, 2013, Lecrae released his second mixtape, entitled Church Clothes Vol. 2, hosted once again by Don Cannon. The mixtape debuted at No. 21 on the Billboard 200, No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums and Gospel Albums charts, and No. 3 on the Rap Albums chart.[51] On Datpiff.com, the album was download over 146,000 times by November 26, 2013.[52] On June 3, 2014 Lecrae announced through social media that his seventh studio album will be titled ''Anomaly''.[53] The album will release on September 9th, 2014.

Musical style[edit]

Moore's musical genre is predominantly Southern hip hop, and has been described as falling under the styles of crunk, gangsta rap, and hardcore hip hop.[54][55][56][57][58][59] On his third release, Rebel, Lecrae slowed down his style on many songs.[60] Rehab was noted for its stylistic diversity, particularly on the song "Children of the Light", which featured Dillavou and Sonny Sandoval and incorporated rock, reggae, and reggaeton influences.[61][62][63] With the release Gravity, Billboard stated that Lecrae incorporated reggae and soul influences into his "signature brash sound."[64]

Popular culture[edit]

Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin recommended Lecrae and Hillsong in an interview when asked about his pre-game music.[65] NFL quarterback Tim Tebow and professional wrestler Ezekiel Jackson have also endorsed Lecrae.[66][67] During March 2014, Lecrae signed a ten-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks, and on April 4, 2014, he performed live at Philips Arena after the Hawks game.[68][69] "Dum Dum," a song by Tedashii featuring Lecrae, was used on an episode of So You Think You Can Dance.[70]

Social activism[edit]

In 2011, 116 Clique and ReachLife Ministries, both headed by Moore, launched a media campaign entitled Man Up, intended to mentor male urban youths on fatherhood and biblical manhood.[1] It features concert tours and a curriculum centered on a short film and a studio album, both titled Man Up, and since 2012 has also featured a string of conference events.[1]

In May 2013, Moore partnered with NBA player Dwyane Wade, filmmaker Art Hooker, and Joshua DuBois, the former head of the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships under the Obama administration, to create the national media campaign This Is Fatherhood, an initiative "devoted to restoring America’s commitment to healthy fatherhood."[71][72] The campaign began on May 1 with a "This is Fatherhood Challenge", in which contestants could submit videos, songs, and essays about fatherhood through June 10. The winners received cash prizes and a trip to Washington, D.C., for a ceremony on Father’s Day. In addition, Moore offered studio time and mentoring to the grand prize winner.[71] Moore, Wade, DuBois, Jay-Z, and U.S. President Barack Obama all made appearances in the campaign's promotional public service announcements.[71]

Personal life[edit]

Moore currently resides in Atlanta since relocating there from Houston in 2009. He is married to Darragh Moore and has three children.[7] Darragh handles the administration for Moore's tours.[73] Lecrae is a graduate of University of North Texas. He and his wife are small group leaders at Blueprint Church. In an interview with Hip Hop DX, Lecrae stated that Clipse member No Malice sought him out as a spiritual advisor.[74]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Mixtapes[edit]

Production discography[edit]

2004[edit]

Self-release - Real Talk

2005[edit]

Json - The Seasoning

2006[edit]

Self-release - After the Music Stops
  • With So Hot Productions, Mac the Doulous, DJ Official, and Tony Stone
Trip Lee - If They Only Knew
  • With DJ Official, Tony Stone, Mac the Doulous, So Hot Productions
Tedashii - Kingdom People
02. "Houston We Have a Problem"
04. "Off Da Hook"
09. "Lifestyle"
15. "No More"
19. "In Ya Hood (Cypha Remix)"

2007[edit]

Sho Baraka - Turn My Life Up
  • With Bobby Taylor, DJ Official, BenJah, and So Hot Productions

2008[edit]

Self-release - Rebel
09. "Change"

2012[edit]

Self-release - Gravity

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 Uprise Presents: Word from the Street Himself[76] TV documentary special
2011 Man Up King[77] Short film by 116 Clique[1]
2012 A Cross to Bear Jerome[78] Television film
Welcome to the Family Documentary Himself[79] Short documentary web film by R.M.G.
2013 Everything Must Go[80] Short documentary web film by Andy Mineo
The Cross Short documentary web film by Billy Graham
2014 Believe Me Dr. Malmquist[81] Will be released September 26, 2014[81]

Awards[edit]

BET Award nominations[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2013 Lecrae Best Gospel Artist Nominated

Billboard Music Award nominations[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2013 Gravity Top Christian Album Nominated

GMA Dove Award nominations[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2007 After the Music Stops Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year Nominated
"Jesus Muzik" (featuring Trip Lee) Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year Nominated
2009 Rebel Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year Nominated
"Joyful Noise" (Flame featuring Lecrae and John Reilly) Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year Nominated
2011 Rehab Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year Nominated
"Background" (featuring C-Lite) Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year Nominated
2012 Lecrae Artist of the Year Nominated
Rehab: The Overdose Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year Won
"Hallelujah" Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year Won
"Overdose" Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year Nominated
2013 Lecrae Artist of the Year Nominated
Gravity Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year Won
"Tell the World" (featuring Mali Music) Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year Won
"I'm Good" (Trip Lee featuring Lecrae) Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year Nominated

Grammy Award nominations[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2011 Rehab Best Rock Gospel Album Nominated
2013 Gravity Best Gospel Album Won

Stellar Award nominations[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2007 Real Talk Rap/Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year Nominated
2010 Rebel Rap, Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year Nominated
2012 Rehab Rap, Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year Nominated
Rehab: The Overdose Rap, Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year Won
2014 Gravity Rap, Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year Won[82]

Soul Train Music Award nominations[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2013 "Confessions" Best Gospel/Inspirational Performance Nominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "EXCLUSIVE: Lecrae Announces Church Clothes Mixtape Hosted By Don Cannon". illHype. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ Goss, Armond (August 28, 2012). "Review – Lecrae 'Gravity'". Rapzilla. Philip Rood and Chad Horton. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ Sketch the Journalist (May 9, 2012). "The most important album in Christian rap history (Lecrae’s "Church Clothes") drops tomorrow – and its FREE". Jesus Musik. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Moore, Lecrae. "Seconds". I Am Second. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Wete, Brian (June 8, 2012). "Interview: Lecrae Talks About Going From "Crazy Crae" To Christian Rapper" (Web). Complex. Complex Media. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "For the rapper, a new life, a new message", CNN, November 10, 2010. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d "Pulling No Punches – an interview with Lecrae". Family Christian. Family Christian Stores. July 10, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
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  9. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/306800/lecrae/chart
  10. ^ "About". Reach Life. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
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  12. ^ After The Music Stops Billboard
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  14. ^ Lecrae Rebel still #1 on Billboard's Top Gospel Album Chart. Rapzilla. October 16, 2008.
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  16. ^ Rebel Billboard
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  29. ^ Review – 116 Man Up Film & DVD Rapzilla
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  36. ^ Diep, Eric. "Lecrae f/ No Malice "Darkest Hour"". Complex Music. Retrieved June 11, 2012. "Lecrae, a rapper from Atlanta with Christian-rooted raps, dropped his first mixtape hosted by Don Cannon called Church Clothes yesterday. With production from Boi-1da and 9th Wonder, he is ready to open hip-hop heads with music that delivers a message. One of the major collaborations is with No Malice, who is known for his coke raps as half of the Clipse. He's been busy with his book, but on "Darkest Hour," he's offering his first verse under the moniker he came up with after his religious transformation." 
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  49. ^ "Gravity - Lecrae" (Web). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
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  52. ^ Omizzle (November 7, 2013). "Lecrae Church Clothes 2". Datpiff.com. Idle Media. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  53. ^ Horton, Chad (June 3, 2014). "New Lecrae Album 'Anomaly' Releasing August 2014". Rapzilla. Philip Rood and Chad Horton. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
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  61. ^ Jeffries, David. "Rehab". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
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  65. ^ "Knicks Guard Jeremy Lin Recommends Lecrae". Rapzilla. February 15, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  66. ^ Thomasos, Christine (April 12, 2012). "Bubba Watson gives God the glory". The Christian Post. The Christian Post Company. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  67. ^ Horton, Chad (April 19, 2012). "6 Reasons Why Lecrae Should've Won Dove Awards Artist of the Year". Rapzilla. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  68. ^ Osicka, Luke (March 12, 2014). "Grammy Winner Lecrae Tries NBA for Size". Guardian Liberty Voice. DiMarkco Chandler. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  69. ^ Laxton, Mike (April 4, 2014). "Lecrae To Perform After Atlanta Hawks Game On April 4 For Faith & Family Night". Jam the Hype. Rain on Me Productions. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  70. ^ O'Neil, Tyler (August 23, 2013). "'So You Think You Can Dance' Uses Christian Rap Song From Tedashii, Lecrae". The Christian Post. The Christian Post Company. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  71. ^ a b c Brown, Celeste (May 20, 2013). "Dwyane Wade & Hip-Hop Artist Lecrae Launch Fatherhood Challenge". WLTX. Gannett Company. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  72. ^ Rapzilla (May 24, 2013). "Dwyane Wade and Grammy Winning Artist Lecrae Join Forces to Champion Fatherhood". Rapzilla. Philip Rood and Chad Horton. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  73. ^ Melissa, Ruggieri (September 7, 2012). "Atlanta rapper Lecrae ready to share his message of hope". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cox Enterprises. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  74. ^ Arnold, Paul W (May 11, 2012). "Lecrae Clarifies His "Gimme A Second" Line About Jay-Z & Lil Wayne, Details Spiritual Advisor Role To No Malice". Hip Hop DX. Cheryl Media Group. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
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