Cracked's 'One Hit Blunders': 5 Strange Things About 'All Star' And Smash Mouth's Rise And Fall (2022)

"All Star" by Smash Mouth has one of the weirdest roller coaster rides in all of modern music. The song spent nine weeks at the top of the charts back in 1999, but that wasn’t even the height of the song’s popularity. A certain green ogre with a Scottish accent shot the song to infamy two years later, and the internet later turned the song into a punchline.

The band behind the song? Well, let’s just say that not all that glitters is gold, and not all shooting stars break the mo-o-ooold. SORRY! We were wanting to get through this piece without using any more of the lyrics than we had to. We just had to get that out of our system. Moving on…

Ironically, "All Star" was Smash Mouth’s Attempt to AvoidBeing a One-Hit Wonder

It is unfair to label Smash Mouth as a one-hit wonder, as they have had a handful of hits over the years. Their first hit came in 1997 with "Walkin’ on the Sun," a terminally catchy little earworm that made it to #1 on both the US Billboard Modern Rock and Adult Top 40 charts, #2 on Hot 100 Airplay chart, and was named Song of the Year by Tribal Tattoo Aficionado Magazine.

"Walkin’ on the Sun" was actually a pretty damn good song back in the day … the first five times you heard it. The problem the song suffered from is that every modern rock station in America made sure you heard the damn thing 15 times a day, every day for months, whether you wanted to or not. Plus, the song fits right in with that brief pop/punk/ska fusion era of the mid-to-late-'90s where bands like No Doubt and Mighty Mighty Bosstones dominated the airwaves right before everyone got really into swing music for some God-forsaken reason.

This song was one of only two singles off the band’s debut album Fush Yu Mang (ugh) to make the charts. The other being a pretty by-the-numbers cover of War’s "Why Can’t We Be Friends," which only managed to reach #28 on the Alternative Airplay charts. With the rest of the songs on the album sounding nothing like either of these two singles, the success of "Walkin’ on the Sun" was the template the band followed to develop the signature sound for their follow-up album, Astro Lounge.

The band teamed up with producer Eric Valentine to put together 13 new songs for Astro Lounge, steering away from the band’s punk and ska influences for a more commercially viable pop sound. They presented the album to Interscope Records, only to be told that the label didn’t really think any of the songs had hit single potential. So, the band’s manager Robert Hayes and their head songwriter/guitarist Greg Camp started analyzing the most popular songs at the time, trying to figure out which elements made them work, and within a few days, they had cranked out what would become the album’s two biggest singles: "Then the Morning Comes" and "All Star."

Here’s the song in case you’ve been trapped in a Cold War-era bunker for decades and only escaped this morning:

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If Smash Mouth was hoping not to be remembered as the "Walkin’ on the Sun" guys, “All Star” granted them that wish. The song made it to #1 in just 10 weeks and stayed there for three times longer than their breakthrough hit did two years prior. "Then the Morning Comes" even made it to #2. But what really set "All Star" apart was that it would end up being a hit twice more over the next couple of decades for reasons the band would never see coming.

Related: Thousands Of Maskless Motorcyclists Risk Their Health For ... Smash Mouth?

Then Came Shrek

Movie soundtrack albums have become pretty few and far between in recent years, but back in the ‘80s and ’90s, they were considered a crucial marketing tie-in. Hollywood would enlist the hottest musical acts of the day to either write an original song for the film, repackage one of their existing hits, or use one of their discarded tracks as album filler. Sometimes both the movie and the soundtrack would be massive hits (Top Gun, The Bodyguard, Dirty Dancing, Friday, etc.). Other times, the results were … mixed. Judgment Night? Great soundtrack, horrible movie. Ghostbusters II? Fun movie, but hearing hip-hop legends Run-DMC rap about the Ghostbusters just felt weird and wrong.

By the time “All Star” was ready for release, Smash Mouth had already had experience with the movie soundtrack game. Their music had been in the background of such films as An American Werewolf in Paris, Half Baked, Wild Things,and BASEketball. They also recorded a cover of the Four Seasons’ "Can’t Get Enough of You Baby" for the soundtrack to the 1998 teen comedy Can’t Hardly Wait, which also made it onto Astro Lounge.

Today, it’s almost impossible to hear “All Star" and not think of the first Shrek movie, but by the time that movie came out (a full two years after the single’s release), the song had already been featured in a half dozen movies and TV shows. Hollywood had already once tried to make it the lead single off a soundtrack album with the 1999 superhero spoof Mystery Men. If you’ve never seen the movie, don’t worry. When it came out, no one else did either. We only brought it up in case you were wondering why the music video opens with Ben Stiller and William H. Macy giving Dane Cook a job interview.

"All Star" wasn’t originally supposed to be used in Shrek. The animators started out using “All Star” as a temp track for the opening credits sequence, intending to replace it later with something that had the same feel and tempo. But Dreamworks head Jeffrey Katzenberg liked the test footage so much he suggested getting Smash Mouth to allow them to use the song for the sequence.

The band initially said no, stating that they didn’t really want their music to be a part of a kid's movie. That’s understandable … but where exactly was that attitude earlier when the song was shoehorned into Digimon: The Movie or when Disney used it in Inspector Gadget? Only after Dreamworks invited the band to attend an early screening of Shrek did the band come around. They not only signed off on having the song included in the movie’s opening but also agreed to record a cover of The Monkees’ I’m a Believer for the film's closing scene.

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Which, since being a contrived publicity stunt, actually manages to capture the essence of The Monkees pretty well:

Shrek ended up grossing nearly a half billion dollars worldwide and gave Dreamworks Animation their first huge (and much needed) hit. The soundtrack album sold nearly 2.5 million copies and allowed Smash Mouth to gain not just a following among Millennials who grew up on the Shrek franchise but also the migraine-induced hatred of every parent of those kids who wanted to hear those songs over and over again.

Related: Shrek-Themed Raves Are Somehow A Thing

Embracing the Memes

Starting in the early 2000s, the internet started becoming a very silly place. Practically any song that became the slightest bit popular became instant fodder for all sorts of covers, mashups, parodies, and memes. “All Star” by Smash Mouth, given its inescapable ubiquity after the success of Shrek, practically became a one-stop meme machine.

Just the way the song opens is enough to trick people into walking right into the joke. There’s no opening hook… no intro… no warning. As soon as you hear Steve Harwell’s voice utter that first syllable of “Some--,” your brain freezes like the moment between seeing the other car coming at you at full speed, and the impact of “-BODY once told me …” And there’s nothing you can do to stop having to hear (every conceivable curse word in gerund form) "All Star" again. The music doesn’t even have to play for the joke to land. The written words still work the same way.

From 2016 to 2019, YouTuber Jon Sudano uploaded cover versions of famous songs, only to sing the lyrics from "All Star." There’s no mention of “All Star” in the titles or descriptions in order to trap as many unsuspecting search results as possible. Seriously, 57 videos like this. We salute your commitment to the bit, sir!

The members of Smash Mouth have embraced their meme status, and why wouldn’t they? It’s driving engagement and keeping their music popular. Besides, they know better than to take any of this stuff too seriously. So, when comedian Jon Hendren took to Twitter one night and challenged “the guy from Smash Mouth” to eat two dozen eggs in exchange for $20, the whole thing snowballed in a surprisingly wholesome way.

A promoter had reached out to the band about the challenge, he managed to convince them it was a good idea, and Smash Mouth decided to up the ante: If the internet could raise $10,000 for St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital. It only took a few days for the money to be raised and the egg-eating challenge to be set up at the opening of Guy Fieri's Johnny Garlic's restaurant in Dublin, CA. Fieri himself even cooked the eggs for Steve Harwell, which was a fun way to play off the internet theory/joke that the two men might be the same person since they had never been photographed in the same room together.

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Ultimately, Harwell only made it about 6-8 eggs in before tapping out and offering the eggs to other people. Kinda a boss move, really. It’s not like anyone was gonna rescind their donation to help sick kids just because the guy from Smash Mouth didn’t clean his plate.

Related: AI Meme Generator Dunks On Humanity

Going Viral Again, But For All The Wrong Reasons

In August of 2020, Smash Mouth performed at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. This event raised alarm among health officials as soon as it was announced, as this would be the largest public gathering since the pandemic started. Early figures were projecting about 250,000 people would be in attendance, which in and of itself was already expected to become a worst-case-scenario superspreader event. Organizers did assure the public they would put up signs encouraging attendees to wear masks and practice social distancing. And if there’s one group you can trust to follow the rules, it’s hundreds of thousands of partying bikers.

Cracked's 'One Hit Blunders': 5 Strange Things About 'All Star' And Smash Mouth's Rise And Fall (1)

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Smash Mouth found themselves going viral for their performance at the rally, and in the worst way possible. Videos of Steve Harwell telling the unsurprisingly maskless crowd “F— that COVID shit!” quickly made the rounds on social media, sparking a ton of ridicule of the “imagine risking your life to see Smash Mouth” and “ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed” variety.

After the rally had concluded, it was discovered that the actual number of attendees at the rally was upwards of 460,000, and resulted in COVID infections. Many media reports couldn’t help but mention Smash Mouth and the now-infamous comments Harwell made at the show, which didn’t help the band’s already big enough PR problem. What’s sad is that Trapt also performed on the same stage that night, and they managed to escape the same kind of scrutiny despite their lead singer having far worse things to say about just about everything.

You’d think one would have to try really hard to outdo a fiasco than that, but Harwell somehow managed. In October 2021, while performing at the Big Sip beer festival in Bethel, NY, seemed to take the festival name a little too literally and took the stage way too drunk for a gig that started at 3:45 in the afternoon. In the viral video of the show, Harwell is shown slurring his words, flipping off the crowd, threatening to kill one audience member, and giving what many thought was a Nazi salute.

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In the wake of this incident, Steve Harwell announced his retirement from the band in order to focus on his physical and mental health. For years, Harwell had been suffering from cardiomyopathy, which had led to a series of other ailments that have affected his motor functions, speech, and memory. His struggles with substance abuse had only made those problems worse.

Related: Peloton Makes Headlines Again For All The Wrong Reasons on 'Billions'

Changes in the Lineup

Steve Harwell’s exit from the band was amicable, and in January of this year, it was announced that the band had found a new lead singer, Zach Goode. And a couple of months later, the band released their first post-Harwell single, a cover of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” What better way for a band that embraced their meme status so well than to start their newest chapter with a cover of another meme.

However, this has not been the band’s first time losing a member of the group. Founding member, guitarist, and lead songwriter of their biggest original hits, Greg Camp left the band in 2008 to work on other projects. Their first drummer, Kevin Coleman, left the band shortly after the release of Astro Lounge due to back problems, and since then, the band has had about as much trouble holding onto a drummer as Spınal Tap. Too obscure of a reference for you young pups out there? Fine, let’s go with the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts instead.

In fact, bassist Paul De Lisle is the only founding member of Smash Mouth still standing, and here’s hoping he sticks around to the very end of the band itself; a stalwart guardian of the Smash Mouth name. The last thing we want is for those past members to pull a Beach Boys and form 15 different versions of themselves and leave us wondering which one is the real one like some sort of musical Ship of Theseus paradox.

Dan Fritschie is a writer, comedian, and frequent over-thinker. He can be found on Twitter, and he thanks you for your time.

Top image: Interscope Records

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    FAQs

    Is Smash Mouth mad at Shrek? ›

    Warrant frontman Jani Lane once claimed that he could shoot himself in the head for writing the band's iconic single 'Cherry Pie'.

    What is Smash Mouth's real name? ›

    Steven Scott Harwell (born January 9, 1967) is a retired American singer and musician, best known as the former lead vocalist and frontman for the rock band Smash Mouth. He and bassist Paul De Lisle were the only two constant members of the band until his retirement. Santa Clara, California, U.S.

    Why did Smash Mouth stop making music? ›

    Harwell appeared to be intoxicated, threatening audience members and performing what looked like a Nazi salute. Following the performance, Harwell announced his retirement due to ongoing health issues.

    Why did Smash Mouth make All Star? ›

    Smash Mouth's guitarist, Greg Camp, once explained that 'All Star' had actually been written as an uplifting song for Smash Mouth fans who were being bullied. He said: “When we were on tour for the first record, it was still when people were writing fan mail in the form of paper and pencils and typewriters and stuff.

    Does All Star hate Shrek? ›

    Though rumors have persisted through the years that Smash Mouth, the band behind the 1999 hit "All Star," is unhappy with being associated with the film, co-founder and bassist Paul DeLisle tells USA TODAY he's "very proud" to be a part of "Shrek."

    How much did Smash Mouth make off Shrek? ›

    Smash Mouth Is The Official Shrek Band

    The film opens with their 1999 hit “All Star,” followed by a cover of The Monkees' “I'm a Believer.” The movie Shrek is a billion-dollar franchise, and Smash Mouth earned $5 million by using songs in the film.

    How old is Smash Mouth All Star? ›

    "All Star" is a song by the American rock band Smash Mouth from their second studio album, Astro Lounge (1999). Written by Greg Camp and produced by Eric Valentine, the song was released on May 4, 1999, as the first single from Astro Lounge.

    What is a Smash Mouth attitude? ›

    Smash-mouth definition

    Alternative spelling of smash-mouth. adjective. Violent; aggressive.

    When did Smash Mouth come out? ›

    The discography of Smash Mouth, an American rock band, consists of seven studio albums, four compilation albums, 19 singles and 13 music videos. Their first studio album, Fush Yu Mang, was released in 1997.

    Why did Steve leave Smash Mouth? ›

    Singer cites 'physical and mental health issues'

    Representatives for Smash Mouth said that Harwell, 54, has left the band to focus on what they described as longstanding medical issues.

    Who is the new lead singer for Smash Mouth? ›

    “Steve is a big guy, nearly 6-feet-tall and 200-plus pounds, with a big voice.” Enter Zach Goode, an actor, songwriter and equally tall and large-voiced man, who joined Smash Mouth in time for one of its largest-ever gigs in May 2022. “A Guadalajara stadium filled with 50,000 people as your first show,” says Goode.

    Who are the members of Smash Mouth? ›

    Smash Mouth

    Why did Greg Camp leave Smash Mouth? ›

    “I feel like someone just hit the big reset button on everything,” says Camp, who left Smash Mouth in June to focus on his first solo album, “Defektor,” in stores Sept. 9. Camp, 41, has been a fixture on the South Bay and Santa Cruz music scenes since the 1980s.

    Why did Shrek use All Star? ›

    They really didn't want to use “All Star.” It was 2001, and the creators of Shrek, an upcoming animated film about a foul-tempered ogre, had slotted it in as a placeholder track over the opening sequence. It had the feeling they wanted: fun, and edgy yet not too edgy.

    When was Shrek made? ›

    Is Guy Fieri the singer of Smash Mouth? ›

    Steve Harwell Wrote A Cookbook, Just Like Guy Fieri

    Steve Harwell is a gifted musician, though most people just think of him as that guy who scored the opening of Shrek. Though Harwell is primarily known as Smash Mouth's frontman, he's also a cookbook author.

    Was All Star written for Shrek? ›

    Many people can't listen to “All Star” without thinking of Shrek. In fact, the song and the movie are so closely associated with each other, some people falsely believe “All Star” was written for Shrek. Interestingly, one of the writers of the song didn't want “Smash Mouth” to be in the film at all.

    Is Smash Mouth rich? ›

    During his time in the spotlight, Steve has reportedly made millions and developed quite a devout following thanks to both his music and his personal beliefs. Per Celebrity Net Worth, he is worth $2.5 million.

    What is the theme of All Star? ›

    Finally, from a metaphorical point of view, “All Star” by Smash Mouth is the defining song of this generation. In the song, an almost Oscar Wilde-like appreciation for enjoyment in life is expressed, which some say is reflected by the materialism of today's youth.

    What genre of music is Smash Mouth? ›

    How did All Star become a meme? ›

    Specifically, "All Star" became a go-to track in a variety of joke videos and memes. According to Know Your Meme, YouTubers first started repurposing the song as early as 2009 with Richalvarez's "Mario You're A Plumber" parody, which sits at over 1.5 million views.

    Is Smash Mouth still performing? ›

    Smash Mouth tour dates 2022

    Smash Mouth is currently touring across 1 country and has 1 upcoming concert. The final concert of the tour will be at SeaWalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach.

    Was All Star popular before Shrek? ›

    We already had a #1 hit with "WalkinOnTheSun and "AllStar" was already Top10 before Shrek was released.

    What is Smash Mouth's most famous song? ›

    Along with their number one hits – Walkin' on the Sun and All Star – they have consistently impacted radio with other recognizable hits like Then the Morning Comes, Can't Get Enough Of You Baby, and a cover of The Monkees classic I'm a Believer, which was prominently featured on the Shrek soundtrack (#4, Billboard ...

    Who is the drummer for Smash Mouth? ›

    Smash Mouth

    How many records did Smash Mouth sell? ›

    SMASH MOUTH sold over 5,742,500 albums, including 5,500,000 in the United States. The best-selling album by SMASH MOUTH is ASTRO LOUNGE, which sold over 3,142,500 copies .

    What songs does Smash Mouth sing? ›

    Smash Mouth

    How tall is Steve Harwell? ›

    Is Uncle Kracker the lead singer of Smash Mouth? ›

    Matthew Shafer (born June 6, 1974), also known by his stage name Uncle Kracker, is an American singer and musician. He was previously a turntablist for Kid Rock's backing group Twisted Brown Trucker and since 1999 has recorded as a solo artist.
    ...
    Uncle Kracker
    Websiteunclekracker.com
    10 more rows

    Who is Zach Goode? ›

    Goode is a veteran singer who has performed and recorded with a number of bands, including Divided By Zero and The Secret Seven. According to his website, he also performed in a Weezer/Beastie Boys cover band named Geezer and works as a DJ and voice actor.

    Who performed I'm A Believer in Shrek? ›

    "I'm a Believer" is a song written by Neil Diamond and originally performed by The Monkees in 1966. Weezer covered the song for the 2010 film Shrek Forever After.

    Why did Dave Buckner leave Papa Roach? ›

    Earlier this year, the group faced a lawsuit from its founding drummer, Dave Buckner, who was unceremoniously kicked out of the band in 2007 for his substance abuse problems. Though the lawsuit has been widely reported, details of the conflagration have not, and the story illustrates the band's tumultuous trajectory.

    How do you book Smash Mouth? ›

    Contact our National Booking Office at 212 521-4115 or send us your questions via email to hire Smash Mouth.

    What genre is The Smashing Pumpkins? ›

    Smashing Pumpkins, American band, one of the most popular and influential alternative rock groups of the 1990s. Founded by guitarist and songwriter Billy Corgan (in full William Patrick Corgan; b.

    Is Greg Camp still in Smash Mouth? ›

    Camp left Smash Mouth after 16 years and has remained an active songwriter and music producer.
    ...
    Greg Camp
    Years active1990–present
    LabelsSeavolt Sound, Beautiful Bomb, Interscope, Bar/None Records
    WebsiteGreg Camp Music.com
    9 more rows

    Why did Kevin Coleman leave Smash Mouth? ›

    Smash Mouth formed four years ago. It pooled the talents of Harwell (an Elvis Presley devotee), guitarist Greg Camp (a surf-rock lover), bassist Paul DeLisle (a punk-rock fan), and drummer Kevin Coleman, who named the group (Smash Mouth was one word at that time), but has since left the band because of back problems.

    Is Greg Camp married? ›

    Is All Star copyrighted? ›

    Trademarks. The Company name, the terms “Allstar Gaming”, “Allstar”, the Company logo, and all related names, logos, product and service names, designs, and slogans are or will be trademarks of the Company or its affiliates or licensors. You must not use such marks without the prior written permission of the Company.

    What's that one song from Shrek? ›

    Track listing
    No.TitleLength
    1."Stay Home" (Performed by Self)3:32
    2."I'm a Believer" (Performed by Smash Mouth)3:10
    3."Like Wow!" (Performed by Leslie Carter)3:35
    4."It Is You (I Have Loved)" (Performed by Harry Gregson-Williams & Dana Glover)3:59
    9 more rows

    Does Eddie Murphy really sing in Shrek? ›

    Eddie Murphy sang in the 'Shrek' films

    At the end of the first film, Shrek, which was released in 2001, Donkey sings along to The Monkees' song “I'm a Believer.” In the film, this was Murphy's real singing voice.

    How many beats per minute is Megalovania? ›

    MEGALOVANIA is a very happy song by Toby Fox with a tempo of 120 BPM. It can also be used half-time at 60 BPM or double-time at 240 BPM. The track runs 2 minutes and 36 seconds long with a G key and a major mode.

    What key is all star in Smash Mouth? ›

    Is all star one word or two? ›

    An all-star cast, performance, or game is one which contains only famous or extremely good performers or players.

    Was I'm A Believer made for Shrek? ›

    "I'm a Believer" is a song written by Neil Diamond and originally performed by The Monkees in 1966. Weezer covered the song for the 2010 film Shrek Forever After.

    Why did Shrek use all star? ›

    They really didn't want to use “All Star.” It was 2001, and the creators of Shrek, an upcoming animated film about a foul-tempered ogre, had slotted it in as a placeholder track over the opening sequence. It had the feeling they wanted: fun, and edgy yet not too edgy.

    Was Allstar written for Shrek? ›

    The filmmakers for Shrek had originally used the song as a placeholder for the opening credits and intended to replace it with an original composition by Matt Mahaffey that would mimic the feel of "All Star".

    When was Shrek made? ›

    When did Smash Mouth come out im a believer? ›

    What is the meaning of I'm A Believer? ›

    a person who feels certain about the truth of a religion or religious ideas. A believer is also someone who has a strong opinion that something is right or good: I'm a believer in the public's right to know.

    When did Imagine Dragons Radioactive come out? ›

    "Radioactive" is a song by American pop rock band Imagine Dragons from their major-label debut EP Continued Silence and later on their debut studio album, Night Visions (2012), as the opening track. It was first sent to modern rock radio on October 29, 2012, and then released to contemporary radio on April 9, 2013.

    What is Smash Mouth's net worth? ›

    During his time in the spotlight, Steve has reportedly made millions and developed quite a devout following thanks to both his music and his personal beliefs. Per Celebrity Net Worth, he is worth $2.5 million. Steve Harwell is most well-known as the lead singer of Smash Mouth.

    What is the theme of All Star? ›

    Finally, from a metaphorical point of view, “All Star” by Smash Mouth is the defining song of this generation. In the song, an almost Oscar Wilde-like appreciation for enjoyment in life is expressed, which some say is reflected by the materialism of today's youth.

    Why did Greg Camp leave Smash Mouth? ›

    “I feel like someone just hit the big reset button on everything,” says Camp, who left Smash Mouth in June to focus on his first solo album, “Defektor,” in stores Sept. 9. Camp, 41, has been a fixture on the South Bay and Santa Cruz music scenes since the 1980s.

    How many hits did Smash Mouth have? ›

    The discography of Smash Mouth, an American rock band, consists of seven studio albums, four compilation albums, 19 singles and 13 music videos.

    Is All Star copyrighted? ›

    Trademarks. The Company name, the terms “Allstar Gaming”, “Allstar”, the Company logo, and all related names, logos, product and service names, designs, and slogans are or will be trademarks of the Company or its affiliates or licensors. You must not use such marks without the prior written permission of the Company.

    How tall is Shrek? ›

    According to Adam Adamson, who directed the first two movies in the franchise, Shrek's height sits somewhere between 7 and 8 feet tall. Due to the fact that there is no material outside of the movies that states any details about his physique, we may never have an exact measurement for the fairy tale hero.

    How do I become Shrek? ›

    About How to Be More Shrek

    With bite-sized advice that feels attainable rather than exhausting, How to Be More Shrek will teach you how to set boundaries, peel back your layers, learn to love your inner (and outer) ogre, fill your swamp with all the right fairytale creatures, and make your own happily ever after.

    How strong is Shrek? ›

    Being an ogre, Shrek has considerable physical strength, being able to break wood and metal constructions, defeat armored humans in combat, and lift or turn objects that are too heavy for a human being, such as a gigantic vat of magic potion against the maximum security of the Fairy Godmother in Shrek 2.

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