Ciara Felt No Pressure for Latest Album, "Jackie"

Epic RecordsThis week saw the release of Ciara's highly anticipated Jackie, which spawned her personal ballad "I Bet." Although her lover-scorned anthem resonated with fans, her latest release has debuted just shy of the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart. However, prior to releasing her effort, the singer told ABC News that she felt no pressure about her sales start, rather she's just grateful for the ride.

"I'm at this point to where things will be what they're supposed to be. I'm at a very happy place in my life, I'm just truly grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts," Ci Ci says. "I'm just grateful for the time period, like, to have another opportunity again to share my music with the world."

The singer continues, "So I'm proud of that, I just have great faith that its going to be a very fun ride, with that being said there's no pressure in a sense. Things are going to be exactly what they're supposed to be."

Ciara's sixth album, which came in at #17 on the albums chart, includes appearances from Missy Elliott and Pitbull and contributions from Dr. Luke, Polow Da Don, Harmony Samuels, The Underdogs, Rock City, Ester Dean and Diane Warren.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Watch The Black Keys Discuss Their Origins

Credit: Danny ClinchHow did two kids from Akron, Ohio launch what would become one of the biggest rock bands in America? Random accidents.

That's how drummer Patrick Carney describes the rise of The Black Keys in The Big Come Up, the newest installment of Rolling Stone's "Mastering the Craft" documentary series. Carney and frontman Dan Auerbach met growing up mere doors from each other. They didn't know each other too well, but their brothers were good friends. Though they jammed together a few times, nothing really came of it, and eventually, they lost touch.

Then Auerbach, who had been playing covers in bar shows, wanted to record a demo. He contacted Carney again, since he had his own recording equipment. He intended to record with his own band, but then the first act of randomness struck.

"His band never showed up," Carney says. "So we decided we would just record some s**t."

That impromptu recording session became The Black Keys' first rehearsal, and resulted in the first Black Keys demo. They sent the demo to record labels with a note claiming that they have played all around Cleveland, even though they hadn't played a single show anywhere.

"Whatever," Auerbach laughs. "It was a white lie."

That white lie didn't hurt, but the actual demo did the heavy lifting. The recording impressed the people Alive Records, who signed The Black Keys to a record deal. The band was booked for their first show as an opening band by the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, and they released their debut album, 2002's The Big Come Up. They then developed a cult following around northeastern Ohio before blowing up into the rock stars they are today.

"It was our first attempts at ever writing music," Auerbach says of The Black Keys' first demo. "You get to witness a band from their inception, as like, musicians really."

You can hear the whole Black Keys origin story at RollingStone.com.

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Cole Swindell Scores Dream Collaboration with Alan Jackson on "ACM Presents: Superstar Duets"

Image Courtesy Heather Wines/CBSCole Swindell teams up with his hero, Alan Jackson, to perform Alan's big hit "Chattahoochee" on the new ACM Presents: Superstar Duets special Friday night on CBS. The special was taped last month in Dallas prior to the ACM Awards, and Cole was thankful he actually got to meet Alan before they went on stage together. The two stars interviewed each other in a segment for the show.

Cole says of that experience, "That was a little uncomfortable at first for me just sitting there, and they're telling me, 'Look at him,' and I'm like, 'I'm scared to look. It's Alan Jackson.'"

Of all of Alan's country hits, "Chattahoochee" holds a special place in Cole's heart. He was just a kid when the song was a hit in the early '90s.

"I know I drove my mom crazy singing that song," Cole says. "All that practice paid off getting to do that."

The ACM Presents: Superstar Duets concert was taped over two nights at Globe Life Park near Dallas, but second show went late into the night due to severe storms in the area. The rain didn't dampen the audience's excitement about seeing Alan, though.

Cole says, "They went nuts when he walked out there. I'm just like, I should probably not even go out when he calls me. I just want to watch him sing."

Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Brett Eldredge, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Darius Rucker, Sam Hunt and Brantley Gilbert are among the other stars performing on ACM Presents: Superstar Duets, premiering Friday night at 9 ET on CBS.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Hozier Says He Was “Very Grateful” for Taylor Swift’s Early Support

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARASWant to take your music career to new heights? Just get Taylor Swift to endorse you on Twitter. Hozier knows that better than anyone. His pal Taylor supported him on social media early on in his career, and he credits her with helping him reach a wider audience.

"Taylor's support was great," Hozier tells The Irish Independent. "I really did see a crossover of fans from that moment on. She has more followers than God, and you will see them go where she says, you see it on Twitter. My phone went crazy the first time she tweeted a link to one of my songs. It's really something, and I was very grateful. Word of mouth is still very important."

Hozier just wrapped a string of U.S. tour dates, with more dates planned for the fall. He says that while he's managed to work on some new material while on the road, it doesn’t really fit with his current style. But rather than ditch the songs, he’s planning several side projects where he’ll release different types of music under different names.

"The longer you've been away from making music, [the more] you're bursting to make something new, to get some tracks down,” he says. “That's a great feeling, to know that you still might have something up your sleeve, that you haven't already used up your best ideas.”

But he’s also happy the popularity of his debut self-titled album hasn’t worn off yet. "That feeling doesn't get any less special," he says. "I love hearing people singing ‘Take Me to Church’ when I play it, but I'm more baffled when they know the words to other songs of mine.”

He’s working hard to keep that fan engagement alive. Hozier will be touring through most of the year, and it’ll likely be March of next year before he returns home to County Wicklow, Ireland for some much-needed rest. For now, the busy schedule suits him just fine.

"Part of me is eager to work on new music and find some open space, but this is the dream, really, and the album has taken off in a way that I could never have dreamed of,” he says. “It's still a big rush.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Report: Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris Seen Having Dinner in Santa Monica

ABC/Lou RoccoTaylor Swift and Calvin Harris reportedly provided more evidence this week that they are dating.

People magazine reports the two had dinner at Giorgio Baldi restaurant in Santa Monica, California, on Tuesday evening, with an eyewitness saying, "They were very close together, leaning in to speak to each other and laughing a lot."

The source also notes that Taylor was "glowing, she seemed incredibly happy but also very at ease with Calvin."

After launching her 1989 World Tour in Tokyo last week, Taylor is scheduled to perform at the Rock in Rio USA festival in Las Vegas this Friday.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 


"American Idol" Season 14 Finale: Nick Fradiani Declared the Winner

Frank Micelotta/FOXNick Fradiani was crowned the new American Idol champion on Wednesday night.  The 29 year-old singer from Guilford, Connecticut, received more of the viewers' votes than runner-up Clark Beckham, 22, from White House, Tennessee.

After host Ryan Seacrest made the announcement, Nick received hugs from his fellow finalists. He then performed his new single, “Beautiful Life.”

Nick Fradiani is the first contestant from the Northeast to win the competition. He will be awarded a recording contract with Big Machine Records.

Nick and Clark both received a 2015 Ford Focus ST.

Throughout Wednesday night's season finale, the American Idol finalists performed alongside various musical guests.

Nick and Clark joined Fall Out Boy for their hit, “Centuries,” to open the show.

Tyanna Jones showed off her best Michael Jackson dance moves as she joined The Jacksons for a medley of their hits, including “I Want You Back,” "ABC," “The Love You Save” and “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground).”

Tyanna then joined Maddie Walker, Adanna Duru, Joey Cook, Sarina-Joi Crowe and Jax as the American Idol girls teamed up with Nile Rogers and Chic for a medley of hits, including “Le Freak,” “Good Times,” “Rapper’s Delight” and their new one, “I’ll Be There.”

Ricky Martin performed “Mr. Put It Down,” before the top 12 guys, Nick, Clark, Trevor Douglas, Riley Bria, Savion Wright, Michael Simeon, Adam Ezegelian, Mark Andrew, Quentin Alexander, Daniel Seavey, Qaasim Middleton and Rayvon Owen joined him for “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and “The Cup of Life.”

Adanna returned to team up with Janelle Monáe and Jidenna for their new song “Yoga.”

Cook, who had one of the most unique voices in the competition this season, added her unique vocal style to Echosmith’s “Cool Kids,” joining the band onstage.

Rayvon Owen, who was saved four times by viewers, teamed up with Jamie Foxx for “In Love by Now,” from Jamie’s upcoming album.

Seavey became the sixth member of New Kids on the Block, at least for one night. The group even showed Daniel some of their dance moves and he joined them on stage for “Please Don’t Go Girl,” "Step by Step" and “You’ve Got It (The Right Stuff).”

Sixth place finisher Quentin Alexander dueted with Vance Joy on “Riptide.

Pitbull and Chris Brown traded dance moves with Qaasim Middleton on their song, “Fun.”

As previously announced, Jax teamed up with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. They tackled Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” ending their wild performance by laying out on the judges’ table. Tyler also sang his new country single "Love Is Your Name."

Clark Beckham returned, this time with Michael McDonald. They played duel pianos on the Doobie Brothers’ song, “Takin’ It to the Streets.”

Nick Fradiani also returned, this time with Andy Grammer, and got the audience dancing to Grammer’s “Honey, I’m Good.”

The judges also took part in a star-studded finale. J-Lo joined Prince Royce and Pitbull for “Back It Up.” Urban performed his new song, “Even the Stars Fall for U.” Finally, Lopez, Urban and Connick teamed up for a medley of Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven.”

American Idol returns for its 15th and final season in January.  Seacrest confirmed Wednesday night that judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. will return for the show’s farewell season.

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Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" Remains Atop Billboard Hot 100 

Miko Lim/Atlantic RecordsWiz Khalifa's  single has not budged from the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The rapper's "See You Again," lifted from the Furious 7 soundtrack, has logged its fifth consecutive week at No. 1.

According to the publication, the rapper's Charlie Puth-assisted track sold an additional 251,000 downloads this week while logging its sixth week at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart.

"See You Again" has become the longest-ruling rap No. 1 on the Hot 100 by a lead solo male in nearly five years -- the last rapper to accomplish the feat was Eminem's  with "Love the Way You Lie," featuring Rihanna, which spent seven weeks at No. 1 in 2010.

Elsewhere, Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen" holds at its No. 2 while The Weeknd's "Earned It" from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack returns to the No. 3 slot.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Beyonce's Hairstylist Dishes on Her Last-Minute Met Gala Change in the Elevator

Eric McCandless/CBSBeyonce managed to attend this year's Met Gala without witnessing another altercation between Solange and Jay Z, however, she did encounter an unexpected dilemma inside an elevator.

Bey's longtime hair guru Neal Farinah tells Us Weekly that she requested a last minute change for her hairstyle while the elevator descended.  Prior to deciding on her super high ponytail, Neal says Queen Bey wasn’t feeling her "Asian-inspired chignon" because it looked too "costumey" for the theme of the night -- "China: Through the Looking Glass."

"Then we were in the elevator on the way down, and she looks at me and says 'Neal, I want to change my hair, will you change my hair?' And I said, 'Honey, there could be cameras in the elevator." She says, "You have 5 minutes,'" Neal recalls, adding that she ultimately suggested a high ponytail.

It seems that Beyonce's attention to detail overall has kept her team on their toes. "She is a powerhouse and she knows what she wants. I have to pay her a compliment," he says. "Beyonce takes us all out of our comfort zone, and she pushes us to be the most artistic we can be with her."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Bob Seger Nominated for a CMT Music Award

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMTThe nominees for the 2015 CMT Music Awards were announced Wednesday.  Naturally, they include dozens of the world's most popular country acts -- and one classic-rock legend: Bob Seger.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was nominated for the CMT Performance of the Year honor for a live duet rendition of his classic tune "Turn the Page" that he sang with country star Jason Aldean on a 2014 episode of the CMT Crossroads series.

The CMT Performance of the Year prize recognizes artists who have given an outstanding musical performance on one of the network's television shows, series or variety specials.  Seger and Aldean will be competing for the award with a few other interesting cross-genre collaborations, including John Legend with Lee Ann Womack, Katy Perry with Kacey Musgraves and Aloe Blacc with Lady Antebellum.

Fan voting in all categories is under way now at CMT.com.  The 2015 CMT Music Awards air live on CMT on Wednesday, June 10, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

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Elton John Wants Movie Version of "Billy Elliott: The Musical"

ABC/Randy HolmesElton John's long-running musical based on the movie Billy Elliott has just turned ten, and while marking the anniversary in London this week, Elton said he'd like to see a movie version of the musical hit the big screen.

Speaking to the BBC, Elton said, "It would be lovely to do a film version. There are other songs that we had had to leave out of the musical that would be great in the film."

He added, "You can only do so much on stage with the material you've got and the length of the show, so I think if one did a movie of this show it would be nice to change some things and maybe put something fresh in."  He joked that if the movie is made, he'd like to play the eccentric grandmother.

Billy Elliott: The Musical first opened in London on May 12, 2005, and has been seen by 10 million people worldwide, according to the BBC.  It was based on the Oscar-nominated 2000 movie starring Jamie Bell as an 11-year-old boy in '80s England who becomes a ballet dancer.

Elton also told the BBC that he had "just written" a brand new musical, but didn't give any further details.  He did reveal that his two sons, Zachary and Elijah have yet to see one of his other musicals, The Lion King.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Taylor Swift Hints at Showdown with Karlie Kloss in "Bad Blood" Video

Big Machine RecordsTaylor Swift hit us with another “Bad Blood” character poster on Twitter today. The latest tease for her new music video features a tough-looking Taylor sporting tousled hair and fingerless boxing gloves.

Taylor, who’s playing a character named Catastrophe, seems poised for a fight -- and she might be going fist-to-fist with her model BFF Karlie Kloss, who’s playing a character called Knockout in the video. Taylor hinted at the showdown by tweeting “Catastrophe vs. Knockout” along with the poster.

The video is set to premiere during the Billboard Music Awards this Sunday and features an extensive star-studded cast, including Lena Dunham, Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Zendaya, Ellie Goulding, model Gigi Hadid and rapper Kendrick Lamar.

Yesterday, Taylor revealed Jessica Alba also will appear in the video as Domino and earlier today she revealed model Martha Hunt will appear as Homeslice.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Bring Me the Horizon Details "Live at Wembley Arena" CD/DVD

Credit: Jakob PrintzlauBring Me the Horizon is bringing you their anthemic brand of metal in the form of their new live CD/DVD, Live at Wembley Arena. Filmed at the famous venue in their native U.K. last December, Live at Wembley Arena will be released on May 29.

If you pre-order the package before May 21, you'll get your name printed inside the CD/DVD booklet.

Bring Me the Horizon previously released a clip from the DVD, featuring the band ripping through their 2014 single "Drown." You can watch the live "Drown" clip now on YouTube.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Glass Animals Announce Fall Tour Dates

Credit: Aliya NaumoffGlass Animals have added a new batch of tour dates to their already giant 2015 tour. The newly added stops begin with a show at The Wiltern in Los Angeles September 24 and will conclude October 17 in Boston. Tickets will go on sale May 15 via GlassAnimals.eu.

Having already played Coachella earlier this year, Glass Animals will kick off their headlining tour on May 19 in San Diego, California. The trek will also include appearances at Bonnaroo, Firefly and Lollapalooza.

Last year, Glass Animals released their debut album, Zaba, featuring the singles "Gooey" and "Black Mambo." For a preview of Glass Animals live, you can check out their just-released live video of "Black Mambo," now streaming on YouTube.

Here are Glass Animals' new fall tour dates:

9/24 -- Los Angeles, CA, The Wiltern
9/27 -- Phoenix, AZ, Crescent Ballroom Outside
9/29 -- Albuquerque, NM, Sunshine Theater
10/5 -- Columbia, MO, The Blue Note
10/13 -- Raleigh, NC, The Ritz
10/15 -- New York, NY, Terminal 5
10/17 -- Boston, MA, House of Blues

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Lorde Gets Her Own Madame Tussauds Wax Figure

James K. LoweLorde has been immortalized in wax. An uncanny replica of the New Zealand singer was unveiled at Madame Tussauds Hollywood today.

“Omg guys... it's my pleasure to finally announce that @MadameTussauds made me into a WAX FIGURE!” Lorde tweeted.

Her figure is clad in a midriff-baring Stella McCartney-style suit inspired by her 2015 Golden Globes look. The statue sports her signature curly locks and dark purple lipstick.

Lorde added on Twitter, “It was an incredibly detailed process sitting for the waxwork, and the team at MT were so passionate and skilled!”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Trisha Yearwood Exhibit Opening at the Country Music Hall of Fame on July 3

Image Courtesy Randee St. NicholasTrisha Yearwood once worked as a tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame, and now she's getting her own exhibit at the museum in Nashville. "Trisha Yearwood: The Song Remembers When" will open at the Country Music Hall of Fame on July 3, featuring artifacts tracing her life from childhood in Georgia to her Grammy-winning rise to the top of the music world.

Of course, Trisha's Emmy-winning gig as the host of her own cooking show, Trisha's Southern Kitchen, will be covered in the exhibit along with her growing line of furniture and housewares.

"Trisha Yearwood: The Song Remembers When" will run through this December.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Soundgarden Releases "Night Surf" Video Shown on "Superunknown" Tour 

Credit: Mike LavineWhile Soundgarden was touring in support of its 1994 breakthrough album Superunknown, the band would play a five-minute video before the start of each show.  That video, which was directed by bassist Ben Shepherd's brother, Henry Shepherd, was accompanied by an instrumental song called "Night Surf."  In case you missed that tour, Soundgarden has released the "Night Surf" video, which is now streaming on RollingStone.com.

The clip is suitably creepy, featuring a kid riding his bike through a lonely, mysterious forest, plus what appears to be an evil doppelganger of a Blue Man Group member.

"Night Surf" the song was released as a part of Soundgarden's three-disc rarities collection, Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path.  The track was placed on the "Oddities" disc, which was comprised of instrumentals, remixes and demos.  Guitarist Kim Thayil previously told ABC Radio that he thought "Night Surf" was one of the oddest of the Echo of Miles oddities.

"I know there's tens of thousands of people from that period of time who might remember that and probably wondered, 'What the hell was this track?' Well, here it is, it's 'Night Surf,'" Thayil said. 

Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path will be released on vinyl next Tuesday, May 19.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Ex-10cc and Godley & Creme Member Kevin Godley Releases Interactive Memoir, "SPACECAKE"

Hand Held Company Ltd.Founding 10cc singer/drummer Kevin Godley has published his first book, a memoir titled SPACECAKE, that's available for purchase digitally now at Apple's iBooks store.  The interactive book uses photos, music, video clips, as well as text passages, to tell Godley's life story, including highlights of his years with the British pop-rock group and his subsequent career as half of the duo Godley & Creme with his 10cc band mate and longtime friend Lol Creme.

Godley was a member of 10cc when the band scored its biggest hit, the chart-topping 1975 single "I'm Not in Love."  Godley and Creme left the group the following year and began recording as a duo, but in conjunction with their partnership, they also began developing a career as innovative video makers.  Their 1985 song "Cry" reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100, helped by the popularity of the creative promotional video they made, which was nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards.

Godley and Creme went on to direct video for such stars as Duran Duran, Asia, Elton John, Herbie Hancock, The Police, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Eric Clapton, Sting, Huey Lewis and the News, Lou Reed, George Harrison and Peter Gabriel.  After his collaboration with Creme ended in 1989, Godley continued on as an in-demand video director, going on to work with such famous artists as Paul McCartney, U2, Clapton, Phil Collins, Rod Stewart, Sting, Fine Young Cannibals, Bryan Adams, Blur and many more.  He also was behind the video for the 1996 Beatles reunion song "Real Love."

In recent years, Godley has focused on WholeWorldBand.com, an audio and video recording platform that utilizes the Cloud.  He also launched a new collaborative project with former 10cc band mate Graham Gouldman called GG/06.

SPACECAKE can be read on any Mac iOS device.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Ed Sheeran to Perform on "The Voice" Season Finale

Peter Kramer/NBCEd Sheeran will be performing on The Voice season finale next Tuesday, according to People.

The singer is set to take the stage to perform his new single, “Photograph.” He’ll join previously announced musical guest Maroon 5.

Ed sang on The Voice season finale last year, too. He performed his love song, “Thinking Out Loud.” And in 2013, Ed appeared on season 5 of The Voice as an adviser for Christina Aguilera’s team.

The final four contestants -- Team Pharrell's Sawyer Fredericks and Koryn Hawthorne, Team Blake's Meghan Linsey and Team Adam's Joshua Davis -- will battle it out on Monday night’s episode, airing at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. A winner will be crowned when the finale airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Sam Smith Enjoys "Last Day of Speaking" Before Surgery

Image Group LA/ABCSam Smith is going silent. The singer is about to undergo vocal cord surgery, and he won’t be able to talk -- let alone sing -- for at least three weeks following the operation.

“Enjoying my last day of speaking,” Sam wrote on Instagram. “After today no speaking for three weeks.”

He added, “So if you see me on the streets sorry if you think I'm a d**khead and can't say hello. Also gonna be silent for my birthday. Sounds fun aye?”

Sam turns 23 on May 19, but it’ll have to be a very quiet celebration. He's also had to cancel a bunch of events because of his vocal issues, including a scheduled appearance at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards this Sunday.

Last week, Sam’s rep said in a statement to ABC News that "a full recovery is expected," and that he will "resume touring in July as soon as he completes his prescribed healing time following the procedure."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Scott Stapp Reveals Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

image Courtesy Wind-up RecordsLast November, Scott Stapp made headlines for all the wrong reasons. The Creed frontman posted a series of videos in which he said he was under attack from people who had left him broke and homeless after stealing his money and threatening to humiliate him. Additionally, Stapp's wife, Jaclyn, made a 911 call in which she said that Stapp believed that he was in the CIA and that he was tasked with assassinating President Obama.

Now, Stapp has revealed in an interview with People that he is now recovering from his "psychotic break" and that he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

"I had a psychotic break that was brought on by alcohol and drug abuse," Stapp says. "I was hallucinating. I drove around the United States for a month, following an angel that I saw on the hood of my car."

"In my delusional thinking, I thought my family was involved in ISIS, and that millions of dollars had been taken from me to support terrorism," he adds. "All of it was nonsense. I was out of my mind."

Stapp then sought out help and was admitted to a dual diagnostic facility, where he was diagnosed as bipolar.

"It was hard to process," Stapp says. "There's a stigma associated with it. But Jaclyn kept telling me, 'Embrace it. We love you.' It became a big sign of relief, because finally, we had an answer."

Stapp will talk more about his recovery on ABC's Nightline, airing tonight at 12:35 a.m. ET.

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