Doesn't Really Matter
|"Doesn't Really Matter"|
|Single by Janet Jackson|
|from the album Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (soundtrack) and All for You|
|Released||May 21, 2000|
|Studio||Flyte Tyme Studios|
|Length||4:57 (soundtrack version)|
4:24 (All for You version)
4:16 (soundtrack radio edit)
|Janet Jackson singles chronology|
"Doesn't Really Matter" is a song recorded by American singer Janet Jackson for soundtrack to the 2000 film Nutty Professor II: The Klumps. The song was released as a single in May 21, 2000, after an unfinished version leaked to radio. "Doesn't Really Matter" is a contemporary R&B and electropop song that speaks about loving a person for who they are and disregarding their physical appearance. It was based on an incomplete poem Jackson had written, which was later applied to her character in the film. The song was a contrast from the bleak tone of prior album The Velvet Rope (1997), returning to a brighter and more contemporary sound.
"Doesn't Really Matter" received positive reception, called "impossibly catchy" and "classic pop". It became Jackson's ninth number-one single in the United States and stayed atop the chart for three weeks. It was Jackson's twenty-first single to be certified, which ranked her as the second female artist with the most certified singles. The single fared well internationally, reaching number five in the United Kingdom, and peaking within the top-ten in Italy and Denmark. It attained a silver certification in the United Kingdom, and allowed Jam and Lewis to receive a Grammy nomination for Producer of the Year. The song is featured in the fifth edition of the American Now! compilation album series Now That's What I Call Music! 5 (2000) and was later included in two of Jackson's greatest hits collections, Number Ones (2009) and Icon: Number Ones (2010).
The music video, directed by Joseph Kahn, resembles an abstract, futuristic environment based on Japanese culture. In addition to clips from the movie, it features advanced technology, morphing clothes, and a dance sequence on a levitating platform. The video had a reported cost of over $2.5 million, being one of the most expensive music videos of all time. Its accolades include "Outstanding Music Video" and "Most Stylish Music Video" at the VH1 Fashion Awards. The song was performed on Top of the Pops and the MTV Video Music Awards, the latter regarded as one of the leading performances of Jackson's career.
A slightly modified version of the song appeared on Jackson's seventh album All for You (2001). "Doesn't Really Matter" was considered to influence music videos from Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson and Cassie. The video was the first by director Joseph Kahn to feature Japanese themes and imagery, which he later used frequently following its popularity. Actress Jenna Dewan made one of her debut appearances in the video, crediting Jackson for the experience and platform to star in the dance film Step Up. Rihanna's "Watch n' Learn" was likened to the song, and it was also covered by Japanese singer Hitomi Shimatani as "Papillon".
- 1 Background
- 2 Development
- 3 Composition
- 4 Critical reception
- 5 Commercial performance
- 6 Music video
- 7 Live performances
- 8 Legacy
- 9 Covers and usage in popular culture
- 10 Track listing and formats
- 11 Official versions
- 12 Awards and nominations
- 13 Charts
- 14 Certifications
- 15 References
- 16 External links
"Doesn't Really Matter" was written and produced by Jackson and Jam & Lewis as the theme for the Universal Pictures film Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, starring Jackson and actor Eddie Murphy. Jackson portrays Professor Denise Gaines in the film, the love interest of Sherman Klump, one of many characters portrayed by Murphy. Jackson received a minimum upfront payment of three million dollars for accepting the role, and an additional one million to record the movie's theme.
The song's initial concept was based on a lyric draft Jackson had written and discovered, which she thought would be suitable for the film's theme. Jackson stated "it really tells you about the movie and how it doesn't matter what is on the exterior, but the interior. His heart, his soul, that really matters to me. That's what I'm in love with, that's what matters to me the most, and it doesn't matter what other people say." Following its release, Jackson stated "I really liked that song a lot," adding it was "fun" and "a good summer song". Jackson felt unsure of how the song would fare, but was pleased with its success. An unmastered version leaked and received airplay ahead of its scheduled release, followed by a positive response from critics and fans. Several radio stations created their own edits until the official version was released, prompting producer Jimmy Jam to exclaim "That's wonderful, because it means radio is excited about it." The song's success was likened to Jackson's return to a more positive and upbeat style in comparison to the bleak aura of The Velvet Rope, saying "In the history of Janet, the records that are the happy records, that make people smile, have always traditionally been the more successful records, going back as far to songs like 'When I Think of You' to 'Doesn't Really Matter.'"
The decision to release the single was considered "the pop star's latest savvy step in a career that's a study in smart moves," continuing to "keep her youthful fans on the dance floor" while devoting time to her film career. Broadcast Music, Inc. stated "music lovers continue to be mesmerized by the talented "Miss Janet", being an "impressive demonstration of her enduring appeal." "Doesn't Really Matter" was ineligible for an Academy Award nomination due to being used throughout the film and during its credits, also released when emphasis was placed on songs used in animated films. The song was included on compilations such as Now That's What I Call Music! 5, and featured on Jackson's hits album Number Ones.
Several years after receiving favorable reception in Poetic Justice, Jackson decided to attempt a romantic comedy. Jackson had been offered leading roles in The Matrix, X-Men, and Jerry Maguire, but was unable to accept each due to touring. After auditioning, Jackson was cast as Professor Denise Gaines opposite Eddie Murphy. When asked to contribute a single, Jackson said she would consider the idea if she found an appropriate song. The film's producers were eager for Jackson's contribution, but had initially not approached her regarding fears of rejection, leading Jackson to initiate. Director Peter Segal brought a rough cut of the film to Flyte Tyme Studios in April, where Jackson had begun recording All for You. Jam recalled, "He said, 'Now that you've seen the film, if you'd like to do a song for it, that'd be great.'" Segal told Jackson she was an exceptional actress after becoming convinced she truly loved Murphy's character, leading Jackson to suggest writing an up-tempo love song rather than a ballad.
Its initial concept was based on a poem Jackson had written and found in a notebook. Jackson's original lyrics were kept intact, although its structure was altered. Jam commented "The lyrical idea for 'Doesn't Really Matter' is totally hers, but the music and melody was something I had done with one of our drum programmers, Alex Richburg. I thought of it as a slow melody, but we sped it up." Jackson wrote the remaining lyrics overnight. "We ended up with two different choruses," said Jam. "I wrote, 'Nutty, nutty, nutty, my love for you.' and she wrote 'Doesn't really matter.'" "The 'Doesn't really matter' chorus was better but she liked 'Nutty, nutty, nutty' and said we should put it at the end of the song." Jackson presented three songs including "Doesn't Really Matter" and an early version of "Feels So Right", later included on Jackson's following album. Segal decided "Doesn't Really Matter" was a better fit and a "summertime record." A slightly modified version was included on All for You, featuring an alternate introduction and elements from the song's remix by Rockwilder. The song paved the way for All for You, with Jam stating "All For You" and "Someone to Call My Lover" and all those songs came off the energy of "Doesn’t Really Matter."
In "Doesn't Really Matter", Jackson speaks of looking past physical appearance, choosing to love the person inside. Using a vocal falsetto, Jackson assures "[It] doesn't really matter what the eye is seeing, 'cause I'm in love with the inner being," considered a "sweet song of unconditional love." Its theme also emphasizes self-acceptance and pride, opposing negativity. Jackson said "It plays a major part in society, it seems today. Their image, what a woman is supposed to look like – all the things you read in the magazines about either being too thin or too this or too that, but it's really about feeling good yourself and accepting yourself. Self-acceptance, which is another story you see here in this film, is the most important thing as well as being happy with who you are." The song is based on Jackson's character Denise's "unconditional love" for the obese but gentle Sherman. Jackson said, "I loved this character so much because she didn't care about all the other things that people may have seen or saw and thought was wrong with Sherman. Those were the things she loved about him, and then on top of that she saw beyond that – how genuine of a man he is, how kind he is, a very good-hearted person and that's what she loves about him. [...] he's someone I could fall in love with because it's about what's inside." Jimmy Jam added, "It lyrically goes with her character in the movie. The song is about 'it's what's inside that counts.' You think it's funny when you hear that Janet and Klump have a relationship, but they make it believable."
AllMusic called it an "instant smash" and "impossibly catchy", adding that the, "public's appetite for Janet Jackson never wanes." Despite being "the first new offering from Ms. Jackson in years," the song was thought to have "the feel and sound of a young, girlish, naive Janet singing a happy pop song about love as opposed to the hardened, sexually experimental Janet who emerged during the later Velvet Rope years." The "definitive" song was qualified as "classic pop Janet through and through" and an "essential" hit. Billboard hailed the "dancey" single as the year's "standout summer track". Stephen Thomas Erlewine commended the song for maintaining Jackson and her producers reputations as the "leading lights of contemporary urban soul."
About.com ranked it as the ninth best song of the year, calling it a "midtempo classic" and "confident". It was later ranked among the top one hundred best songs of the decade, considered "one of the best examples of how Janet Jackson can make a hit single sound completely effortless," adding "it did work for the movie, and it sounded fantastic on the radio as well." Chuck Taylor of Billboard praised the "frothy, singsongy" track as "innocent fun", privy to the "ultra-pop side of Janet" for the first time since "Together Again". It was examined to highlight "Janet's still-youthful vocal musings and a happy beat that will sound great roaring from the radio speakers while at the seaside, or driving down the streets with the windows wide open." The song's "radically different" nature was thought to "conjure a vibe" of Jackson's hit "Runaway". The "smile-bearing throwback" was also thought to be "easygoing, fluffy", and "friendly", likening its upbeat aura to "the sand gently running beneath your toes". The song's theme, which "testifies that in all the world, love makes the most difference in life", was acclaimed as "a nice statement for fans". It was predicted to "entice programmers and listeners across both the mainstream and rhythmic" radio, yet was thought to require "meatier mixes" for other formats.
The Huffington Post regarded it as Jackson's best single aside from "Black Cat", saying its "subliminal Asianness" aids Jackson's "pretty" voice in being "fragile like rice paper", relating the song to Kyu Sakamoto's 1963 hit "Sukiyaki". Entertainment Weekly called it "effervescent" and a standout, while The New York Daily News considered it a "breathy" number from the "shapely songbird". Barnes & Noble said "the film's costar" offers an "up-tempo" single, defined as "a springy synth bounce that complements the dance diva's breathy vocals". The song received praise from The Orlando Sentinel, saying it has "a beat you just can't help but hum along to".
NME considered it a "comeback single" for the "pop queen". CNN called it a "pleasing single", also labeled "peppy, radio-perfect" and "funky fun". Entertainment Weekly considered it "competent hack-pop", and Newsday declared the song "breathy" and "carefree". The former publication also exclaimed the song "delivers", adding it "slides nicely from a half-time, stutter-beat verse to a memorably singsongy chorus, on which Janet's restrained cooing lets the melody do all the work." In a later anecdote, it was described as "Bacharachian" as well as "peppy" and "cute", commending its "bells and whistles in the production" and Jackson's "falsetto trill". MTV News labeled it "a return to Jackson's more melodic, pop side and a departure from the more groove-based The Velvet Rope." Vibe called it "blissful" with a "bright, shiny sound", and MacKenzie Wilson of AllMusic considered it "sweet upbeat" and a large contrast from other songs on the film's soundtrack. It was also considered "a less suffocating shade of pop" for radio, both "blippy" and "joyful". Film magazine Empire called it "soulful hip-pop" and "popcorn for the ears", likened to "vodka on the rocks" for its "Pepsi commercial" semblance. Furthermore, Jeff Stark of Salon declared it as "skittery" and "subdued", and Slant Magazine described it as laced with "minimal percussive programming". Elsewhere, the song was examined to have a "catchy hook" and "the quality to get stuck in your head", commending Jackson for continuously possessing the ability to "get something together that can get your hip in motion."
"Doesn't Really Matter" became Jackson's ninth number one on the Billboard Hot 100, staying atop the chart for three consecutive weeks, from August 26-September 9, 2000. It became Jackson's nineteenth single to receive a gold certification, and twenty-first single to be certified, which ranked Jackson as the second most successful female artist with the most certified singles. It attained a silver certification in the United Kingdom, also receiving a BMI Pop Award for Most Played Song and Japan Gold Disc Award for Top Selling Song of the Year by a foreign artist. The song peaked at number one on Top 40 Tracks and the Rhythmic Top 40, three on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, number nine on Hot Dance Singles Sales, and number two in Canada. "Doesn't Really Matter" achieved success internationally, reaching number five in the United Kingdom, number two on the UK R&B Chart, the top ten in Italy and Denmark. It peaked within the top fifteen of Norway, Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and among the top twenty in Switzerland.
Upon its release, it became the most added song on pop, rhythmic, and urban formats, also added to Hot Adult Contemporary. The song was the first number one hit by a female artist on the Billboard Hot 100 since Aaliyah's "Try Again" several months earlier, breaking the longest streak of male acts at the chart's summit since eight years prior. In 2007, Billboard ranked it the sixty-first most successful song by a female artist in the chart's history. The song's success allowed the film's soundtrack to open at number four on the Billboard 200, only behind Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP, Britney Spears' Oops!...I Did It Again, and Nelly's Country Grammar. The album sold over 150,000 copies in its first week and was later certified platinum, with over two million copies sold worldwide.
"Doesn't Really Matter" was directed by Joseph Kahn and takes place in a futuristic city resembling Tokyo, Japan. The video shows Jackson in an abstract anime-based environment, featuring an AIBO dog, which was the very first consumer Artificial Intelligence robot and was created for the companionship of adults and elderly people. Morphing clothes, levitating platforms, and a futuristic Acura vehicle, the Acura CL-X Concept Prototype, are just a few of the other things featured in this video. It was filmed in Los Angeles on June 4–5, and premiered on MTV's Making the Video on June 28, 2000. The video cost over $2.5 million, ranking it among the most expensive music videos of all time.
Jackson described the video's concept, revealing "its just me hanging out with my friends and going to a club. [...] It has the feel of being in an apartment in Tokyo, where every inch of your space is so important, it's used well." Kahn described the clip's premise as "epic minimalism," saying "I think every music video right now has big sets, big things, big everything, and we're going to see how small we can make it and still make it big." The clip fulfilled the intention of "creating a world around her," desiring to have an "iconic" aura. Kahn exclaimed "the great thing about Janet is that her videos go all out, and that's risk-taking. She's not just doing what other people are doing, she's willing to go and try to create something new." Jackson responded "I enjoy trying different things, video wise as well as make-up and costuming, that's fun for me. In doing so, you're taking risks, taking chances, and some people might love it, others may hate hate it, period."
The video was choreographed by Shawnette Heard and Marty Kudelka. It was the first time Jackson had not worked with Tina Landon since the Rhythm Nation era. The video's routine consisted of contemporary, jazz, and street dance styles. The dancers in the clip were intended to appear "wild", in contrast to Jackson's more "sedate" appearance. "It's kind of over-the-top trendy as far as the clothing", said Jackson. The video's stylist desired a Tokyo-influence in the wardrobe, exclaiming "it's so great to pull clothes, and then put the clothes on her and have them become iconic because it's Janet." The majority of the video was designed through CGI and chroma key. The clip is famous for its portrayal of futuristic technology and choreographed dance scenes set on a hovering platform. Jackson described the platform to be "like a ride," adding "it tilts, slants, you can slide off or fall. I was literally airborne, it was lifting me right up." The original scene was designed on a set, but was taken apart and replaced with a green screen. Kahn said "that just put even more pressure on me, because I didn’t want to be the director that made the bad Janet Jackson video." Throughout the dance sequence, scenes from Sega Dreamcast games Jet Grind Radio, Samba de Amigo, and Shenmue are shown in the background.
The video was released on the song's enhanced CD single and The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps DVD as an extra feature. Due to being released through another label, it was not included on Jackson's From Janet to Damita Jo: The Videos compilation. The video was filmed during a turbulent period, in which Jackson was experiencing a divorce from unannounced husband Rene Elizondo, Jr., leading to intense media scrutiny and fluctuations in weight. Jackson recalled, "I was up in weight with 'Doesn't Really Matter.' I was going through my divorce at that time and that was a troubling time for myself."
Release and reception
In January 2014, Kahn recalled "Janet Jackson has a very charming way of going through her editorial process – she always goes "if you think it works," and she means it. That's awesome, she's freaking Janet Jackson." Jackson contacted Kahn directly to direct the video, saying "I was star struck on Janet for sure, because that was the first time that I really dealt with someone that was in my youth. I studied Janet Jackson videos growing up. So to finally see myself face to face with her and working with her and her calling me on a first name basis and calling my home and tracking me down on my cell phone... like her leaving messages, it was the weirdest thing." Kahn continued "And Janet, she really is elegant, she's like royalty. Even though she's talking to you and trying to be normal, she's not – she's Janet Jackson – and you can never get that out of your head. You realize that she's a real person and she's got just the same emotions as everyone else, but you can never get around the fact that she's special."
Asia Pacific Arts considered it a "playful" video which steers away from the film to "focus [on] Janet and her fun, upbeat fantasy world of pet dog-bots and interactive dance floors." Its special effects were called "incredible" and "seamless", which also allowed director Kahn to showcase a "clear evolution" from his earlier videos. The video's premise, portraying Jackson as she "romps around with some girlfriends in a futuristic setting" and "getting freaky in Tokyo", was praised for its variation from standard "lip-synch/film snippet formula" used among pop videos at the time. It was also "happily free" of scenes from its accompanying film, saying the clip "stands on its own". DVD Talk likened the video's setting to science fiction film The Fifth Element.
"Doesn't Really Matter" was performed on Top of the Pops in August 2000, and the MTV Video Music Awards on September 7, 2000. Jackson opened the show in a black leather outfit in an aerial set among multiple backing dancers. Her long hair was obscuring her face for much of the performance. It was considered among the best of Jackson's career by various publications. The official Roc Nation website considered it the third best performance in the show's history, saying "Flanked by her troop of dancers, the living legend moved effortlessly across the stage in 2000 as she executed her signature complex footwork to 'Doesn't Really Matter'". The Orlando Sentinel stated Jackson made "a rare TV performance" featuring a "three-tiered set and 10 backing dancers". Salon praised its "elaborate dance routine".
In 2001 and 2002, "Doesn't Really Matter" was included on the All for You Tour as the encore. For the performance, she wore demure white tee and jeans. Rolling Stone considered the rendition "jubilant and "spirited", while MTV stated "a fully PG Janet". A writer for Newsday said Jackson performed a "stripped-down "Doesn't Really Matter" with no choreography or dance troupe to hide behind." The tour's performance was also praised for allowing Jackson to appear "looser", which effectively "cut the self-consciousness and relaxed into more natural moves". Jam! Canoe considered the tour's performance "upbeat and warm".
For her first concert tour in six years, "Doesn't Really Matter" was included on the 2008 Rock Witchu Tour. During the Number Ones, Up Close and Personal tour, she wore black jeans and a tank top to perform the song. The New York Times praised the performance saying "it's the closest she gets to representing life as lived rather than as performed". Jackson dedicated the song to the audience while performing in Santa Barbara, California. The song's music video was played on screens preceding the opening number for selected dates. Jackson included the song on her second leg of the 2018 State of the World Tour.
"Doesn't Really Matter" was notably the first video directed by Joseph Kahn to incorporate themes of Japanese culture, which Kahn subsequently used in videos such as Britney Spears' "Toxic" and Mariah Carey's "Boy (I Need You)." Jackson had previously included Japanese themes in the music video for "If," voted among the "Best Female Videos" of the nineties. Britney Spears was inspired to work with Joseph Kahn for "Stronger" after Jackson's "Doesn't Really Matter" video, which also pays homage to Jackson's "Miss You Much" and "The Pleasure Principle" videos during choreographed chair routines. Mariah Carey's "Boy (I Need You)" video, which featured Cam'ron and was also directed by Kahn, was considered a "clear extension of Janet's "Doesn't Really Matter" for its similar settings and usage of Japanese culture. Jessica Simpson's "Irresistible" video includes similar opening scenes, consisting of aerial views of a futuristic Japanese city at night, and similar outdoor environments. Simpson revealed Jackson to be an influence, saying "I absolutely adore her and she is such a sweetheart." Ciara's "Get Up", directed by Kahn, uses similar elements of an advanced city, also opening and ending with the lead star waking up and falling into bed as the lights dim. Cassie's "Long Way 2 Go" uses a similar plot; opening with an aerial view, entering an apartment as the lead's friends arrive and are seen through a peephole, in which they perform choreography at a club.
Glenn Gamboa of Newsweek considered Rihanna's "Watch n' Learn", from her sixth studio album Talk that Talk, an "answer to Janet Jackson's "Doesn't Really Matter" due to its similar production and "playful" nature. Billboard likened Destiny's Child to being influenced by Jackson's strategy of releasing a soundtrack single shortly before an album campaign with "Doesn't Really Matter" for "Independent Women," saying the group "began planting the seeds for the upcoming release" in a similar vein. Japanese singer Hitomi Shimatani covered the song under the title "Papillon", bringing Shimatani her first hit and mainstream success, becoming one of the top artists on the Avex Trax label. Shimatani was presented the idea to cover the song due to its success, saying "the song had a big impact" and was "played repeatedly." The "Papillon" video also features similar fashion and choreography to Jackson's video. The video was one of the first music videos appearances by actress Jenna Dewan, who stated "I was fortunate enough to work with Janet who treats her dancers amazing," describing it as her most memorable video shoot. Dewan credits working with Jackson in the video, as well as "All for You" and the All for You Tour, for allowing her to later work with other major artists; also giving her the experience to co-star in the dance film Step Up.
The video's popularity saw the AIBO ERS-210 robotic dog generate increased market demand and commercial success, after the "bionic beast got to snuggle up to Janet Jackson" in the clip. The Sun Sentinel included "Doesn't Really Matter" among several videos which set fashion trends and increased the popularity of "must-have colors" in clothing among youth. The vibrant "red and orange" outfits worn by Jackson, including "sugary pinks and orange tees", items from the Self Esteem line, and "designer duds right off the runway," were described to heighten demand for similar "bright colorful clothes".
Covers and usage in popular culture
Japanese singer Hitomi Shimatani covered the song under the title "Papillon". The song became the biggest hit of Shitamani's career at the time, and made her one of the biggest acts on the Avex Trax label. Néstor Torres recorded a jazz version of the song for his seventh album This Side of Paradise. An instrumental piano version composed by David Newman for The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps film score is heard several times throughout the film.
The song was used in the dance video game Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova. In 2012, Democratic political strategist Richard Socarides selected "Doesn't Really Matter" for a live playlist on CNN. In September 2013, record producer and radio personality Mister Cee included "Doesn't Really Matter" blended with Maino's "Hi Hater" during a live set upon his return to famed New York radio station Hot 97 following several solicitation allegations, saying "Just listen to the words." The inclusion of Jackson's song was considered to subliminally reveal his bisexuality, called the set's "most triumphant moment", and a response to critics in opposition of his sexual orientation.
Track listing and formats
French promo CD single (8023)
European CD single (562 916-2)
UK 12" single (5629161)
US promo CD single (DEFR 15100-2)
US CD single (314 562 846-2)
US CD promo
AllMusic reviewed several of the song's remixes, citing the "Jonathan Peters Club Mix" as the most superior; transforming the dance-pop original into a "summery, breezy dance record, complete with Spanish guitars and whistles." The review added "The song lends itself surprisingly well to this transformation, and, with great instrumentation, results in a pleasant and effortless dance record." Rockwilder's "Dance All Day Extended Mix" was described as possessing a melodic hip-hop and "dancehall flavor", though was considered to lack the original's vibrancy. The "Spensane Get Up Extended Mix" has "intense beats" and accelerated production, making Jackson's vocals sound as if they are "being played at 78 RPM".
Awards and nominations
|List of accolades for "Doesn't Really Matter"|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||600,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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- Janet Jackson – Doesn't Really Matter
- Janet Jackson – Doesn't Really Matter
- Janet Jackson Doesn't Really Matter Australia 5" CD SINGLE (162597)
- Janet Jackson Doesn't Really Matter Japan 5" CD SINGLE (162609)
- Janet Jackson Doesn't Really Matter Taiwan 5" CD SINGLE (250741)
- Janet Jackson Doesn't Really Matter UK 12" RECORD/MAXI SINGLE (168793)
- Janet Jackson – Doesn't Really Matter
- Janet Jackson Doesn't Really Matter UK Promo 12" RECORD/MAXI SINGLE (164037)
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