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Tom Jones

Singer from Glamorgan
Tom Jones

Tom Jones Biography

Sir Thomas John Woodward, known professionally as Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer. His career began with a string of top-ten hits in the mid-1960s. He has toured regularly, with appearances in Las Vegas (1967–2011). Jones's voice has been described by AllMusic as a "full-throated, robust baritone".Early life Thomas John Woodward was born at 57 Kingsland Terrace, Treforest, Pontypridd, in Glamorgan, South Wales. His parents were Thomas Woodward (31 March 1910 – 5 October 1981), a coal miner, and Freda Jones (30 December 1914 – 7 February 2003). Three of his grandparents were of English origin: his paternal grandfather, James Woodward, was an ironmonger's haulier from Glouce...
Sir Thomas John Woodward, known professionally as Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer. His career began with a string of top-ten hits in the mid-1960s. He has toured regularly, with appearances in Las Vegas (1967–2011). Jones's voice has been described by AllMusic as a "full-throated, robust baritone".

Early life

Thomas John Woodward was born at 57 Kingsland Terrace, Treforest, Pontypridd, in Glamorgan, South Wales. His parents were Thomas Woodward (31 March 1910 – 5 October 1981), a coal miner, and Freda Jones (30 December 1914 – 7 February 2003). Three of his grandparents were of English origin: his paternal grandfather, James Woodward, was an ironmonger's haulier from Gloucestershire, and his paternal grandmother, Anne Woodward, was from Wiltshire. His maternal grandfather, Albert Jones, was Welsh, and his maternal grandmother, Ada Jones, was born in Pontypridd, to parents from Somerset and Wiltshire.

Jones attended Wood Road Infants School, Wood Road Junior School and Pontypridd Central Secondary Modern School. He began singing at an early age: he would regularly sing at family gatherings, weddings and in his school choir. Jones did not like school or sports, but gained confidence through his singing talent. At 12 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Many years later he said: "I spent two years in bed recovering. It was the worst time of my life." During convalescence, he could do little else but listen to music and draw. :?9–10?

Jones's bluesy singing style developed out of the sound of American soul music. His early influences included blues, R&B and rock and roll singers Little Richard, Solomon Burke, Jackie Wilson, Brook Benton, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.

In March 1957, Jones married his high school girlfriend Linda Trenchard, when they were expecting a child together, both aged 16. The couple's son, Mark, was born in the month following their wedding. To support his young family, Jones took a job working in a glove factory and was later employed in construction.


Rise to fame

Jones's voice has been described as a "full-throated, robust baritone". According to Jones himself, his young voice was a tenor voice. He said: "What you lose on the top end, you gain on the bottom end. I used to be able to hit a top C when I was young now it's a B flat." He became the frontman in 1963 for Tommy Scott and the Senators, a Welsh beat group. They soon gained a local following and reputation in South Wales. In 1964, the group recorded several solo tracks with producer Joe Meek, who took them to various record labels, but they had little success. Later that year, Decca producer Peter Sullivan saw Tommy Scott and the Senators performing in a club and directed them to manager Phil Solomon, but the partnership was short-lived.

The group continued to play gigs at dance halls and working men's clubs in South Wales. One night at the Top Hat in Cwmtillery, Jones was spotted by Gordon Mills, a London-based manager who also originally hailed from South Wales. Mills became Jones's manager, took the young singer to London, and also renamed him "Tom Jones", to exploit the popularity of the Academy Award-winning 1963 film.

Eventually, Mills got Jones a recording contract with Decca. His first single, "Chills and Fever", was released in late 1964. It did not chart, but the follow-up, "It's Not Unusual", became an international hit after offshore pirate radio station Radio Caroline promoted it. The following year was the most prominent of Jones's career, making him one of the most popular vocalists of the British Invasion. In early 1965, "It's Not Unusual" reached No. 1 in the United Kingdom and the top ten in the United States. During 1965, Mills secured a number of film themes for Jones to record, including the theme songs for the film What's New Pussycat? (written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David) and also for the James Bond film Thunderball. Jones was also awarded the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1966. During a filming break at Paramount Studios (1965) in Hollywood, Jones met Elvis Presley for the first time; he recalls Presley singing, 'With These Hands' as he walked towards him from the film set. The two men became good friends.

In 1966, Jones's popularity began to slip somewhat, causing Mills to reshape the singer's image into that of a crooner. Jones also began to sing material that appealed to a wider audience, such as the country hit "Green, Green Grass of Home". The strategy worked, and Jones returned to the top of the charts in the UK and began hitting the Top 40 again in the US. For the remainder of the decade, he scored a string of hits on both sides of the Atlantic, including "I'll Never Fall in Love Again", "I'm Coming Home", and "Delilah", each of which reached No. 2 in the UK chart.

1967 to 1987

In 1967, Jones performed in Las Vegas for the first time, at the Flamingo. His performances and style of dress became part of his stage act, and increasingly featured his open, half-unbuttoned shirts and tight trousers. He soon chose to record less, instead concentrating on his lucrative club performances. Jones played in Las Vegas at least one week each year until 2011.

Jones singing a duet with Janis Joplin on the television programme This Is Tom Jones in 1969

Jones had an internationally successful television variety show titled This Is Tom Jones from 1969 to 1971. The Associated Television-produced show was worth a reported US$9,000,000 (equivalent to about $57,500,000 in 2020) to Jones over three years. It was broadcast by ITV in the UK and by the American Broadcasting Company in the US. As a result of the show, Jones was nominated in 1970 for a "best actor" Golden Globe. From 1980 to 1981, he had a second television variety show, Tom Jones, which was produced in Vancouver, Canada, and lasted 24 episodes.[citation needed] Both television shows were the subject of litigation with the original licence holder C/F International. As of December 2004, C/F International was a secured judgment creditor of Classic World Productions and its principal, Darryl Payne, for approximately US$1,000,000 (equivalent to about $1,400,000 in 2020), and was the principal secured creditor at the time of the subsequent bankruptcy filing by the company. C/F International's action against Classic World Productions and owner Darryl Payne was based on unpaid royalty payments from This Is Tom Jones and related recordings. This Is Tom Jones is sold on DVD by Time Life rather than by Classic World Productions or C/F International.

C/F International's rights to later Tom Jones material were also disputed. In March 2007, Tom Jones and Tom Jones Enterprises sued C/F International to stop the company from licensing sound recordings made from the 1981 Tom Jones series. It was contended that any rights that C/F International had to license the Tom Jones show did not include the right to make and license separate recordings of the performances on the show, and that any rights that C/F International had in the Tom Jones show no longer existed because of numerous breaches of contract. Examples of contentious CDs are Live on the Tom Jones Show, released in 2006, and Greatest Hits Live, originally issued by C/F International in 1981 and later licensed to and issued by Prism Leisure Corporation as 30 Greatest Hits – Live in Concert.

On 26 April 1970, CBS released the Raquel Welch television special Raquel! directed by David Winters, in it Jones is among guests.

The star commemorating Jones at the Orpheum Theatre, Memphis

In the 1970s, Jones toured with the female singing groups Quiet Elegance and the Blossoms as his backing groups. He had a number of hit singles, including "She's a Lady", "Till", and "The Young New Mexican Puppeteer", but in the mid-1970s his popularity declined. He did, however, have a big hit in 1976 with "Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow", which went to No. 1 on the US country chart, No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 40 on the UK Singles Chart.

In 1972, he co-starred with Jennifer O'Neill in David Winters's television special The Special London Bridge Special.

In 1976, Jones was set to make his film debut in the film Yockowald, in which he was to play a CIA assassin. The film was shelved after the production ran out of money three weeks into filming.

In 1979, Jones made his acting debut in Pleasure Cove, an ABC television film which was a pilot for a potential television series but was not picked up. In the film, he played a suave conman named Raymond Gordon staying at the holiday island resort of the title. His co-stars in the film included Constance Forslund, Tanya Roberts and David Hasselhoff. :?326? In 1984, he guest-starred in an episode of the television series Fantasy Island as an accountant who fantasises about living life as Dick Turpin.

In the early 1980s, Jones started to record country music. From 1980 to 1986, he had nine songs in the US country top 40, yet failed to crack the top 100 in the UK or the Billboard Hot 100. Jones's manager Gordon Mills died of cancer on 29 July 1986, and Jones's son Mark became his manager. :?271,?275?

In 1987, Tom Jones re-entered the singles chart with "A Boy from Nowhere", which went to No. 2 in the UK. The following year, he covered Prince's "Kiss" with Art of Noise. The song reached No. 5 in the UK and No. 31 in the US. The video for "Kiss" was played frequently on MTV and VH1, and won the MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video.

1990s resurgence

Jones received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989, located at 6608 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, in front of Frederick's of Hollywood. In 1992, he made his first appearance at the UK's Glastonbury Festival, and in 1993 he appeared as himself in episodes of two popular US sitcoms, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ("The Alma Matter") and The Simpsons ("Marge Gets a Job").

Jones signed with Interscope Records in 1993 and released the album The Lead and How to Swing It. The first single, "If I Only Knew", went to No. 11 in the UK. Jones performed the song at the 1994 MTV Europe Music Awards, for which he also served as host. In 1997 Jones recorded a cover of Randy Newman song "You Can Leave Your Hat On" for the soundtrack of The Full Monty.

In 1996, Jones appeared as himself in Tim Burton's ensemble science-fiction comedy film Mars Attacks!. A scene in the film features him performing on stage when aliens attack and he manages to escape with a gun.

In 1999, Jones released the album Reload, a collection of cover duets with artists such as the Cardigans, Natalie Imbruglia, Cerys Matthews, Van Morrison, Mousse T, Portishead, Stereophonics and Robbie Williams. The album went to No. 1 in the UK and sold over 4 million copies worldwide. Five singles from Reload charted in the UK top 40. The single "Sex Bomb" was released in early 2000 and became the album's biggest single, reaching No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart.

Into the 21st century

US President Bill Clinton invited Jones to perform on New Year's Eve at the 2000 millennium celebrations in Washington, D.C. In 2000, Jones garnered a number of honours for his work, including a BRIT Award for Best British Male. He was also hired as the new voice of Australia's National Rugby League, singing in an advertisement to market the 2000 season.

In 2002, Jones released the album Mr. Jones, which was produced by Haitian-American rapper Wyclef Jean. The album and the first single, "Tom Jones International", were top 40 hits in the UK.

Jones received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 2003. The following year, he teamed up with pianist Jools Holland and released Tom Jones & Jools Holland, a roots rock 'n' roll album. It peaked at No. 5 in the UK.

On 28 May 2005, in celebration of his upcoming 65th birthday, Jones returned to his homeland to perform a concert in Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd, before an audience of about 20,000. This was his first performance in Pontypridd since 1964. That same year, the BBC reported that Jones was Wales's wealthiest entertainer, having amassed a fortune of £175,000,000. Jones collaborated with Australian pop singer John Farnham in 2005 and released the live album John Farnham & Tom Jones – Together in Concert. The following year, Jones worked with Chicane and released the dance track "Stoned in Love", which went to No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart.

Jones, who had been awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1999, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 at Buckingham Palace for his services to music. After receiving a knighthood, Jones stated: "When you first come into show business and get a hit record, it is the start of something. As time goes by it just gets better. This is the best thing I have had. It's a wonderful feeling, a heady feeling."


Performing at Hampton Court Palace in London, 2007

On 1 July 2007, Jones was among the artists who performed at Wembley Stadium at the Concert for Diana, joined on stage by guitarist Joe Perry of Aerosmith and soul singer Joss Stone. In addition to performing some of his own songs, the group covered the Arctic Monkeys song, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor". A boxing fan, Jones has performed national anthems before a number of boxing matches. He sang "God Save the Queen", the national anthem of the United Kingdom, before the Floyd Mayweather-Ricky Hatton fight in 2007; he sang "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau", the Welsh national anthem, at the Bernard Hopkins-Joe Calzaghe fight between fellow Welshman Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins in 2008; and he sang "God Save the Queen" before the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton fight in 2009.

In 2008, he released 24 Hours on S-Curve Records, his first album of new material to be issued in the United States for over 15 years. Jones, who was still performing over 200 dates a year as he approached his seventieth birthday, set out on a world tour to promote the album. "The fire is still in me. Not to be an oldie, but a goodie. I want to be a contender", Jones said. Also in 2008, Jones was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. On 16 November 2008, he was invited to perform on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing; he performed the debut single from 24 Hours, "If He Should Ever Leave You", which was named the ninth-best song of 2008 by Spinner. One of the songs from 24 Hours, "Give a Little Love", would later be featured in the first trailer for the 2010 comedy film, Little Fockers.

In February 2009, Jones appeared in an exclusive Take-Away Show with Vincent Moon, performing three songs live in front of a camera in a New York hotel room. In March 2009, Jones went to the top of the UK Music Charts for the third time in his career with a cover of "Islands in the Stream", sung with Ruth Jones, Rob Brydon and Robin Gibb, who co-wrote the original with his brothers Barry and Maurice. The record, which was inspired by the song's having featured in the BBC's hit sitcom Gavin & Stacey, was released in aid of Comic Relief and reached No. 1 in March 2009.


Jones at House of Blues, Anaheim, 2009

Jones's album Praise & Blame was released on 26 July 2010. The album, consisting primarily of gospel and blues songs, included covers of songs by Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker and Billy Joe Shaver, and featured guest musicians such as Booker T.

On 7 June 2010, which was Jones's seventieth birthday, the single "Burning Hell", a cover of the John Lee Hooker song from the Praise & Blame album, was released. In July 2010, it was reported that David Sharpe, vice-president of Island Records (to whom Jones had moved, from EMI, for £1.5m in October 2009), had emailed colleagues demanding that they "pull back this project immediately or get my money back" and asking if the spiritually themed record had been a "sick joke". Jones later strongly criticised Sharpe and said that he was furious about the leaked email.

In July 2010, Jones appeared on the penultimate episode of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and performed "Burning Hell". In August 2010, Praise & Blame debuted at No. 2 on the UK album chart. By 2010 Jones had sold a total of over 100 million records.

On 11 September 2010, Jones performed for an audience of 50,000 at the Help for Heroes charity concert at Twickenham Stadium performing "Strange Things Are Happening Every Day" and his hit "Green, Green Grass of Home". On 22 September, Jones appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York.

In May 2011, Jones appeared as a guest vocalist on the debut album Let Them Talk by Hugh Laurie. On 15 May 2011, he appeared alongside Laurie in the UK ITV series Perspectives, singing music from the album in New Orleans. On 25 May 2011, he appeared on American Idol after a medley of his hits performed by the American Idol "Top 13".

Jones released a single on 19 March 2012, produced by former White Stripes frontman Jack White, called Evil. The single was first made available through independent record shops in 7" vinyl format on 5 March. An exclusive three-coloured vinyl was also sold at only one shop – Spillers Records in Cardiff. The shop, from which Jones bought records as a schoolboy in the 1950s and early 1960s, was founded in 1894 and is listed in Guinness World Records as the oldest record shop in the world.

In March 2012, Jones became a coach on the BBC talent show The Voice UK. Jones was joined by, Jessie J and Danny O'Donoghue. He mentored Leanne Mitchell to win the first series. Jones returned to coach in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In August 2015, it was announced that Jones's contract with the show would not be renewed and that he would be replaced by Boy George. Jones criticised BBC executives for "sub-standard behaviour", having not consulted with him and informing him only 24 hours before the official announcement.

In May 2012, Jones released the album Spirit in the Room on Island Records/Universal Music. The track listing included covers of songs by Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen and Richard and Linda Thompson, Blind Willie Johnson, Tom Waits and the Low Anthem. Also in May, he starred in a one-off television drama titled "King of the Teds" which aired on Sky Arts as part of a series of standalone teleplays for Playhouse Presents. On 4 June Jones performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace, singing "Delilah" and "Mama Told Me Not to Come".[citation needed] On 18 August Jones performed a fifty-minute set at the V Festival’s Weston Park site in Staffordshire. On 9 September 2012, Jones headlined at BBC Radio 2's Live in Hyde Park festival.

In May 2014, Jones opened for Morrissey at a special show in the United States. On 27 September 2014, Jones performed at the Australian Football League's pre-game entertainment for the 2014 Grand Final along with Ed Sheeran.

In September 2015, Jones announced the long-awaited release of his album Long Lost Suitcase, on 9 October, through Virgin/EMI. The album is the third in a trilogy of albums, following Praise & Blame (2010) and Spirit in the Room (2012). The album's track titles are interwoven into the chapters of his autobiography Over the Top and Back released at the same time. It was produced by Ethan Johns and the diverse range of compositions includes songs from Gillian Welch, the Rolling Stones, Hank Williams and the Milk Carton Kids.

In November 2015, Jones appeared alongside Rob Brydon in a special 90-minute show, from the SSE Arena, Wembley, for BBC's Children in Need.

In 2015, he appeared on the BBC's Jools' Annual Hootenanny, broadcast on New Year's Eve, on which he duetted with Paul Weller.

In 2017, he returned to The Voice as a coach for series 6.

In 2018, he embarked on a live summer tour, which was planned to run from 1 May to 11 August. In July, however, many shows were cancelled due to sickness or bad weather.

On 25 June 2019 The New York Times Magazine listed Jones among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

In 2020 he appeared on the BBC's Jools' Annual Hootenanny, broadcast on New Year's Eve, on which he duetted with Jools Holland and with Celeste.

In January 2021, Jones announced his upcoming covers album Surrounded by Time, alongside the release of a new single, his rendition of Todd Snider's "Talking Reality Television Blues". In March he appeared on Later... with Jools Holland where he sang "I'm Growing Old" from his new album Surrounded By Time, his 41st studio album. The album was released on 23 April.

Cultural influence

Space and Cerys Matthews released "The Ballad of Tom Jones", a song about a fighting couple who are calmed down by listening to Jones's music on the radio. The song reached No. 4 in the UK in 1998.

A musical, Tom: A Story of Tom Jones, based on the singer's life and recordings, produced by Theatr na nÓg, opened at the Wales Millennium Centre in March 2016. Reviewing the show for The Stage, Mark Shenton wrote:

...the show itself, written by Mike James and directed by Geinor Styles, is a more humdrum—while hummable—affair than its star and subject deserves. In the familiar jukebox musical style of shows like Jersey Boys and Beautiful, "A Story of Tom Jones" charts the behind-the-scenes rise to fame of a pop star, but without the craft or polish.

Similar to Elvis Presley with his impersonators, Tom Jones has his share of imitators around the world. These are performers who either sound like him or imitate his act.

In the 2006 film Flushed Away, the main character, Roddy, is mistaken for Tom Jones by another character while Roddy performs "She's a Lady". Jones's song, "What's New Pussycat?", is played during the ending credits.[citation needed]

In the video game Team Fortress 2, one of the playable characters, the Scout, is a collector of Tom Jones merchandise, and Tom Jones is depicted being murdered by another playable character, the Soldier in the tie-in comics. The Spy later convinces the Scout that Tom Jones is his father when using his shape-shifting ability when he suffers a near-death experience. Tom Jones is also depicted using the phrase "What's new pussycat?" several times.


Jones wrote or co-wrote the following songs: "And I Tell the Sea", "Looking Out My Window", "Feel the Rain" from the 2002 Mr. Jones album, "Jezebel", "The Letter", "Younger Days", "Tom Jones International", "Holiday", "The Road", "24 Hours", "Seasons", "We Got Love", "Seen That Face", "Give a Little Love", "If He Should Ever Leave You", "Whatever it Takes", and "Traveling Shoes" from the 2012 album Spirit in the Room.


Year Title Role Notes
1965 What's New Pussycat? Theme Singer
Promise Her Anything
1972 The Special London Bridge Special a fantasy story about London Bridge being brought to America
1974 On Happiness Island BBC special
1979 Pleasure Cove Raymond Gordon US TV Movie
1984 Fantasy Island Dick Turpin (ABC series; season 7, episode 19)
1991 The Ghosts of Oxford Street Gordon Selfridge Christmas TV Movie celebrating the 200th anniversary of London's Oxford Street
1992 The Simpsons as Himself "Marge Gets a Job"
1993 Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Season 3 Episode 18 : The Alma Matter
1994 Silk n' Sabotage Photographer
1995 The Jerky Boys: The Movie as Himself
1996 Mars Attacks!
1999 Agnes Browne
2000 The Emperor's New Groove Theme Song Guy (animated film)
2004 Duck Dodgers as himself "Talent Show A Go-Go" [better source needed]
2012–15, 2017–present The Voice UK Coach or "judge" and mentor for artists, Seasons 1 until 4 and 6 onwards
2012 Playhouse Presents Ron Episode: "King of the Teds"
2014 Under Milk Wood Captain Cat TV Film
2014 Superheroes Unite for BBC Children in Need as Himself TV Film


Source : Wikipedia
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Tom Jones Discography

  • 1965AlbumAlong Came Tom Jones
  • 1965AlbumThree at the Top
  • 1965SingleThunderball (Live On The Ed Sullivan Show, December 5, 1965)
  • 1965SingleWhatcha' Gonna Do (Live On The Ed Sullivan Show, June 13, 1965)
  • 1966AlbumA-Tom-ic Jones
  • 1966AlbumFrom the Heart
  • 1966AlbumWhat's New Pussycat
  • 1967Album13 Smash Hits
  • 1967AlbumGreen, Green Grass of Home
  • 1967AlbumLive! At the Talk of the Town
  • 1968AlbumDelilah
  • 1968SingleDelilah (Live On The Ed Sullivan Show, April 21, 1968)
  • 1969AlbumLive In Las Vegas
  • 1969AlbumThis Is Tom Jones
  • 1970SingleCabaret (Live On The Ed Sullivan Show, September 20, 1970)
  • 1970AlbumI Who Have Nothing
  • 1970AlbumTom
  • 1971AlbumTom Jones Sings She's a Lady
  • 1972AlbumTom Jones Close Up
  • 1973AlbumThe Body and Soul of Tom Jones
  • 1974AlbumSomethin' 'Bout You Baby I Like
  • 1975AlbumMemories Don't Leave Like People Do
  • 1981AlbumDarlin'
  • 1982AlbumCountry
  • 1983AlbumDon't Let Our Dreams Die Young
  • 1984AlbumLove Is On the Radio
  • 1985AlbumTender Loving Care
  • 1987AlbumThings That Matter Most to Me
  • 1989AlbumHelp Yourself
  • 1991AlbumCarrying a Torch
  • 1994AlbumThe Lead And How To Swing It
  • 1998AlbumFrom the Vaults
  • 2000Album20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Tom Jones
  • 2002AlbumMr. Jones
  • 2003AlbumReload
  • 2006AlbumThe Best of Tom Jones Country Hits 20th Century Masters the Millennium Collection
  • 2008Album24 Hours
  • 2009EPStoned In Love (feat.Tom Jones)
  • 2010AlbumPraise & Blame
  • 2012SingleEvil
  • 2013AlbumSpirit In the Room
  • 2015SingleElvis Presley Blues
  • 2015SingleFactory Girl
  • 2015SingleI Wish You Would
  • 2015AlbumLong Lost Suitcase
  • 2015SingleWhy Don't You Love Me Like You Used to Do?
  • 2020AlbumHide & Seek (The Lost Collection)
  • 2020SingleIt's Not Unusual (Live On The Ed Sullivan Show, April 21, 1968)
  • 2021SingleNo Hole In My Head
  • 2021AlbumSurrounded By Time
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