Rebel without a pause: Bieber's image in 'slow decline'

Image: Justin Bieber Miami-Dade Corrections

Justin Bieber's arrest early Thursday morning for driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license will surprise no one who's been paying attention to the singer's recent trajectory. Over the last two years, the onetime squeaky-clean pop sensation has made increasingly unsavory headlines, and now faces a potentially serious entanglement with the legal system.

"His image has been in slow decline," celebrity image consultant Amanda Sanders told TODAY. "He missed his prepubescent rebellious phase, and he's no longer a sweet kid — now he's an adolescent, and his fan base is going to change greatly. It's not planned, but his behavior is a reflection of not wanting to be thought of the same way."

And he certainly won't be, not with his blunders — some of the legal sort, some just bad form — from the past few years. 

Jan. 14: Los Angeles County sheriff deputies searched Bieber's Calabasas, Calif., home to search for evidence after he allegedly egged a neighbor's home. The neighbor estimated there had been $20,000 worth of damage. After executing a search warrant on Bieber's home, police arrested a visitor on a felony narcotics violation.

Dec. 2013: Bieber sets Twitter aflame tweeting that he's retiring (after announcing it on a radio show earlier in the month), then appeared to back off with a follow-up tweet.

Aug. 2013: Bieber rubbed a fan's cell phone on his genitals mid-concert and earned no points with parents.

July 2013: Bieber left his pet capuchin monkey behind in Germany. Customs officials said Bieber owed them $8,000 for "Mally's" care. (The monkey is now in the care of a shelter after being surrendered by the pop star.)

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    Image: Justin Bieber

    Justin Bieber

    The teen sensation got his start when his proud mom uploaded his videos to YouTube. Now he’s poised to rule the pop world.

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    On the beach -

    Justin Bieber is seen hanging out on the beach in Miami, Fla., one day before his Jan. 23, 2014, arrest.

    INFphoto.com
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    Arrested -

    Miami-Dade Corrections released Justin Bieber's mugshot the same day as his arrest, Jan. 23, 2014. The singer was charged with DUI, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license.

    Miami-Dade Corrections
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    Movie premiere -

    Justin Bieber arrives at the World Premiere of "Justin Bieber's Believe" at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Dec. 18, 2013.

    Richard Shotwell / AP
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    Hug it out -

    Justin Bieber hugs a young survivor of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Palo, Leyte province on Dec. 10, 2013. Bieber sang to and played basketball with young survivors of the Philippines' deadliest typhoon.

    Str / AFP - Getty Images
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    From above -

    Justin Bieber performs at the Barclays Center in New York on Aug. 2, 2013.

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    Thumbs up -

    Justin Bieber performs at Bercy arena in Paris, March 19, 2013.

    Francois Mori / AP
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    Love ya' mom -

    Justin Bieber, right, kisses his mother Pattie Mallette as they arrive at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 18, 2012.

    Jordan Strauss / AP
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    The height of fame -

    Canadian pop star Justin Bieber performs onstage at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 20, 2012.

    Ethan Miller / Getty Images
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    Socially acceptable -

    Bieber accepts the award for Top Social Artist onstage at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 20, 2012.

    Ethan Miller / Getty Images
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    Courtside cuddle -

    Bieber kisses girlfriend Selena Gomez during the NBA basketball game between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles on April 17, 2012.

    Paul Buck / EPA
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    A drop in the bucket -

    Bieber gets slimed after accepting the award for favorite male singer onstage at Nickelodeon's 25th Annual Kids' Choice Awards in Los Angeles on March 31, 2012.

    Chris Pizzello / AP
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    Still worth screaming about? -

    A Justin Bieber wax figure is unveiled at Madame Tussauds in Berlin on March 19, 2012.

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    Yes, he Cannes -

    Bieber arrives at the Cannes festival palace to take part in the NRJ Music awards ceremony, in Cannes, southeastern France, on Jan. 28, 2012.

    Lionel Cironneau / AP
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    All in the family -

    Bieber, second from right, joins, from left, Prince Jackson, Blanket Jackson, Paris Jackson and Katherine Jackson after the hand and footprint ceremony honoring musician Michael Jackson in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Jan. 26, 2012.

    Matt Sayles / AP
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    Mic check! -

    Bieber holds a microphone in front of the mRobo Ultra Bass as he unveils the portable speaker and dancing robot at the TOSY Robotics booth at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 11, 2012.

    Ethan Miller / Getty Images
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    Let's have a ball -

    Bieber performs in New York's Times Square during the New Year's Eve celebration on Dec. 31, 2011.

    Charles Sykes / AP
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    Holiday spirit -

    Bieber, right, sings "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" with, from left, first lady Michelle Obama, Sasha Obama, Malia Obama, President Obama, Jennifer Hudson and Victoria Justice at the annual Christmas in Washington taping on Dec. 11, 2011.

    Jacquelyn Martin / AP
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    Hey, Slick -

    Bieber and girlfriend Selena Gomez attend the 2011 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles on Nov. 20, 2011.

    Jason Merritt / Getty Images
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    Having a laugh -

    Bieber, center, performs with singers Redfoo and SkyBlu of LMFAO onstage at the 2011 American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 20, 2011.

    Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images
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    As his 'World' turns -

    Bieber performs during the last concert of his "My World" tour in Caracas, Venezuela, on Oct. 19, 2011.

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    True Beliebers -

    Bieber fans react during a concert at Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Oct. 18, 2011.

    Nacho Doce / Reuters
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    Young love -

    Bieber and his girlfriend, actress Selena Gomez, arrive at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles on Aug. 28, 2011.

    Christopher Polk / Getty Images
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    Get your motor runnin' -

    Indy Car driver Danica Patrick, left, and Bieber appear onstage to present Best Team at the 2011 ESPY Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles on July 13, 2011.

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images
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    Smells like teen spirit -

    Bieber attends a lauch event for his new Justin Bieber fragrance at Macy's Herald Square in New York on June 23, 2011.

    Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images
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    Time for some sun -

    A shirtless Bieber escorts Selena Gomez after stepping on the beach while in Hawaii on May 23, 2011.

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    Download this one -

    Bieber accepts the Digital Artist of the Year award onstage during the 2011 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 22, 2011.

    Ethan Miller / Getty Images
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    Lifting spirits in Japan -

    Bieber fist bumps with a girl from northeastern Japan, the area devestated by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami at an event at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Tokyo on May 18. In Japan for several concerts, the 17-year-old Canadian teen idol spoke briefly with nearly a dozen of children and exchanged messages.

    Yuriko Nakao / Reuters
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    Under the spotlight(s) -

    Bieber performs onstage at Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia, on April 28, 2011.

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    All the world's a stage -

    Bieber performs on stage during the first night of his UK tour at National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England, March 4, 2011.

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    Date night -

    Gomez is on the arm of Bieber as they arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Sunset Tower in West Hollywood, Calif., on Feb. 27, 2011.

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    Hoop dreams -

    Bieber, right, drives around former NBA player Mitch Richmond, left, during the first half of the 2011 BBVA All-Star Celebrity basketball game as a part of the NBA All-Star weekend in Los Angeles on Feb. 18, 2011.

    Danny Moloshok / Reuters
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    He ought to be in pictures -

    Bieber poses for photographers as he arrives for the premiere of the film "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," at the O2 Arena in London on Feb. 16, 2011.

    Luke Macgregor / Reuters
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    New music meets old -

    Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne posed on the set of a "Tron"-themed commercial for Best Buy, which ran during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011. Bieber was just 12 in 2007 when his mother first posted a video to YouTube of him singing. It was that exposure that eventually launched his fame.

    Christopher Polk / Getty Images
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    Young man, young fans -

    Bieber visited New.Music.Live to promote his film, "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" at the CTV HQ building on Feb. 1, 2011, in Toronto.

    George Pimentel / Getty Images
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    Oh, say can you see? -

    Bieber donned 3-D glasses for the premiere of "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never."

    Lucas Jackson / Reuters
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    Owes it all to Mom -

    Bieber and mom Pattie Mallette are shown in a scene from "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never." Mallette raised him as a teenage single mom in low-income housing. The singer does maintain contact with his father, who married another woman and had two children.

    Paramount Pictures
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    Hey! I'm in 3-D! -

    The 2011 3-D documentary "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" contains footage of the singer as a child as well as concert and other more current footage.

    Paramount Pictures
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    Roses are red -

    Bieber performed at the Q102 Jingle Ball at the Susquehanna Bank Center on Dec. 8, 2010, in Camden, N.J.

    Jeff Fusco / Getty Images Contributor
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    Viva Espana -

    Bieber poses during the presentation of his album 'My Worlds The Collection' in Madrid, Spain, on Nov. 29, 2010. Bieber plans two concerts in Spain in spring of 2011.

    Javier Lizon / EPA
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    Plenty for everyone -

    Bieber, right, posed with Usher backstage at the 2010 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010. Bieber took home four awards.

    Michael Caulfield / Getty Images
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    Little big man -

    Bieber won artist of the year during the 2010 American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 21, 2010.

    Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images
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    Buckets of fun -

    Bieber performed at the KFC YUM! Center in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 10, 2010.

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    Do these make me look smart? -

    Bieber posed for a portrait while promoting his new book, "Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever," in Los Angeles on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010.

    Matt Sayles / AP
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    By the white of the night -

    Bieber performed at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Oct. 25, 2010.

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    Face the law -

    Bieber guest starred as Jason McCann, a troubled teen who is faced with a terrible decision regarding his only brother, during an episode of "CSI" on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010.

    Sonja Flemming / CBS
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    The YouTube sensation -

    Bieber, seen on April 24, 2010, in Sydney, Australia, first came to fame when his mother uploaded videos to YouTube of him singing. A musical marketing executive clicked on one of them -- reportedly by accident -- and the teen was eventually signed to the record label of R&B star Usher. Born in 1994 to a teenage mom who raised him alone while working low-paying jobs, the singer has come a long way. His first full studio release, "My World 2.0," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

    Brendon Thorne / Getty Images
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    May-December friendship? -

    Bieber's devoted fans reportedly threatened reality star Kim Kardashian, left, after the two were photographed together at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner pre-party in Washington on May 2, 2010. Bieber took to Twitter to tell his fans to calm down.

    Larry Busacca / Getty Images
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    Dare to dream -

    Bieber took part in a bungee jump at Auckland Bridge during his one-day visit to New Zealand on April 28, 2010.

    Sandra Mu / Getty Images
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    Fans get out of hand -

    On Bieber's 2010 spring Down Under, his fans occasionally ran into trouble. Several young fans were crushed during crowd surges and Bieber had to cancel one show.

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    Up past bedtime -

    Bieber appeared on the April 10, 2010, episode of "Saturday Night Live." The singer played a high-school student in a class taught by Tina Fey. Fey's teacher character constantly fantasized about Bieber's character, a student she described as "a dreamy Christmas elf" who looked like "a baby bunny sniffing a tiny flower."

    NBC
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    Bye-ber? Bee-ber? Bay-ber? -

    Bieber performed during the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on April 5, 2010. He has performed at the White House twice. President Obama mispronounced the singer's last name as "BYE-ber" (instead of "BEE-ber") before a Christmas performance in 2009. Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha, probably could have set him straight.

    Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
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    Space-age shoes -

    Bieber arrived at Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards held on March 27, 2010, in Los Angeles. He sang his hit song "Baby." The show also held a contest, and the 13-year-old winner walked with Bieber down the orange carpet, attended his rehearsal and watched the awards show.

    Michael Buckner / Getty Images
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    Ryan, Michael and Justin -

    Ryan Seacrest, right, and Bieber prepared to watch "Captain EO" with more than 500 fans at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., on March 26, 2010. Contest winners from all over the country joined Seacrest and Bieber for a private event at the theme park to celebrate the release of Bieber's latest CD.

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    Tip-toe time -

    Bieber danced on his toes while performing at the 2010 Nickelodeon Upfront Presentation in New York on March 11, 2010.

    Bryan Bedder / Getty Images for Nickelodeon
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    Is this France, or Russia in the winter? -

    With his head wrapped up against the winter chill, Bieber met fans at Citadium Store in Paris on Feb. 22, 2010. His appearance was cut short by police after a large group of fans swarmed the area.

    Julien M. Hekimian / Getty Images
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    Guys who wear glasses -

    Bieber performed a free concert presented by KIIS-FM at Nokia Plaza L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Feb. 13, 2010.

    Angela Weiss / Getty Images
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    Helping Haiti -

    Singers Chris Brown, left, Bieber, Sean Kingston and Monica posed backstage at the BET SOS Saving Ourselves -- Help for Haiti benefit concert and telethon at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Feb. 5, 2010. Bieber answered phones on the donation line and also performed.

    Frank Micelotta / Getty Images
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    It's Bieber's 'World,' we just live in it -

    Bieber performed at the "We Are the World 25 Years for Haiti" recording session held at Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood, Calif., on Feb. 1, 2010. Bieber sang the opening line, which was sung by Lionel Richie on the 1985 original. When that version of "We Are the World" was released in 1985, Bieber was still a decade away from being born.

    Kevin Mazur / WireImage
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    He likes older women -

    Singer Ke$ha and Bieber spoke onstage during the 52nd annual Grammy Awards held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2010.

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images
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    No. 1 fan -

    Bieber and his mother, Pattie Mallette, attended the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2010.

    Larry Busacca / Getty Images for NARAS
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    Bright-eyed teen -

    Bieber arrived at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Sept. 13, 2009.

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    Kid with a dream -

    Bieber is shown performing on the street in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, on Aug. 20, 2007.

    Irving Shuter / Getty Images

June 2013: While trying to back out of a space when leaving a comedy club, Bieber was filmed brushing against a paparazzo with his white Ferrari. Police were called to the scene.

May 2013: Police visited Bieber's home in Los Angeles after neighbors reported his reckless driving. 

April 2013: A tour bus search in Sweden led to the discovery of drugs, but no arrests were made. Earlier that same month, Bieber wrote in the Anne Frank House museum's guestbook that he hoped that Holocaust victim would have been a "belieber."

March 2013: Bieber's birthday, the "worst ever" as he tweeted later, led to him and his entourage getting into a scrum at London's Cirque du Soir nightclub. Also, a neighbor back in Los Angeles accused him of battery, saying he and the singer had argued.

Oct. 2012: The singer didn't exactly endear himself to the Internet when photos of him being carried up the Great Wall of China hit social media. A month later someone threw a bottle at him during a concert in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

July 2012: Bieber was pulled over after L.A. police found him speeding on the 101 Freeway. City councilman Dennis Zine said he should lose his license and get locked up. "Bieber was driving like a maniac," added Zine.

May 2012: Bieber reportedly got into a scuffle with a press photographer in Malibu, Calif., and L.A. County sheriffs were said to be investigating. Later that month, police in Calabasas responded to reports that his white Ferrari was being seen racing around the gated community where he lives, though it turned out to be driven by his pal Lil Twist.

Dec. 2011: Police pulled over Bieber for making an "unsafe left turn" in Los Angeles. 

Oct. 2011: He was given a verbal warning after cutting off a police cruiser while out driving with friends.

March 2011: Arguably, most of Bieber's strange multiyear line of behavior can be traced down to him flipping off a photographer. He apologized, but said that the crush of paparazzi had given his then-girlfriend Selena Gomez a swollen lip.

Bieber doesn't like being compared to Lindsay Lohan, having written, posted and deleted a letter on Instagram in which he said, "I know my talent level and I know I got my head on straight," then added, "To those comparing me to Lindsey (sic) Lohan, look at her 2012 tax statements." But Lohan's decline, and subsequent multiple arrests, was also a series of escalating incidents punctuated by bizarre public behavior similar to Bieber's.

Celebrities have already weighed in on Bieber's behavior. In a December interview with Closer Weekly, former teen pop idol Donny Osmond noted, "Everyone thinks he's still the kid who sang 'Baby,' but he's an adult, and he's rebelling to show people he's an adult." And Mark Wahlberg told U.K. newspaper The Sun during a live web chat, "He's a teenager. ... Everybody's got a cell phone and paparazzi everywhere. I was in prison before I got a record out and I don't think he's been to prison. I don't think he wants to go."

Lohan did and has begun her long road back to respectability, but it took a lot of arrests, rehab stints and public shaming before she did. If history is any predictor, Bieber can also recover his image.

"Everybody likes a comeback story," said Sanders. "You have to fall down to get back up. If he was my client, I'd tell him to lay low — dial down the going out, the entourage, the bling. Maybe try to speak to children about drunk driving. Just lie low until the dust settles, then come back with a fresh look ... and perspective."

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