Best Country Songs About Breaking Up

Breakups can be hard, but the right playlist can make it that bit less painful. Whether you’re looking for something to relate to, or music to better help understand your feelings, below are the best country songs about breaking up.

1. Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood

Before He Cheats by Carrie UnderwoodBefore He Cheats by Carrie Underwood

Song Year: 2005

Of all the breakup songs on this list, this one is the most vindictive.

In this song, the protagonist lists all of the vengeful measures she’s taken to prevent her now-ex from cheating on her again. She carves her name into his car, slashes his tires, and smashes his headlights, but in the end, she can’t stop imagining him with another woman.

This song is an excellent cathartic tune, allowing you to live out your revenge fantasies without getting into real trouble, and Carrie Underwood’s classic voice delivers it with style.

2. Die From a Broken Heart by Maddie & Tae

Song Year: 2020

This song describes a situation that is likely familiar to most. In Maddie and Tae’s Die From a Broken Heart, the protagonist describes turning to her mother for comfort after a breakup.

She asks for advice on taking care of herself, as she feels lost and all alone.

Maddie & Tae are singers, songwriters, and guitarists who are relatively new to the country music scene. Die From a Broken Heart became their top hit in 2020, reaching number one on the Billboard charts.

3. What Hurts the Most by Rascal Flatts

Song Year: 2006

When you’re going through a breakup, you can never predict what will be most painful. In this song, the famous country trio argues that what hurts the most in separation is the sudden departure of one’s partner. In their absence, there is only emptiness.

Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson originally wrote this song. The music was performed by the members of Rascal Flatts, which include Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, and Joe Don Rooney. It has a catchy tune and remains a popular karaoke song despite the group’s splitting in 2021.

4. Miss Me More by Kelsea Ballerini music

Song Year: 2017

This is a song that most people can relate to. Kelsea Ballerini’s hit song from her second studio album chronicles the changes a young woman has had to make to accommodate her partner’s insecurities. For example, she doesn’t wear heels because he doesn’t like it when she’s taller. Ultimately, she breaks up with him to find herself again, maintaining that she missed herself more than she missed him.

Kelsea Ballerini is a country and pop singer. She has released two studio albums to date.

5. Don’t Close Your Eyes by Keith Whitley

Song Year: 1998

Don’t Close Your Eyes is a classic story of a love triangle. In this song, Whitley croons about the love of his life who, despite being with him, is thinking of another lover. He bids her not to close her eyes and imagine her ex. The mournful song makes this song the perfect addition to the breakup playlist.

Keith Whitley was a country music singer known for his melodic voice. He died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 34.

6. You’ll Think of Me by Keith Urban

Song Year: 2002

This song is for you if you’ve ever stayed up all night thinking of a loved one. In You’ll Think of Me, Keith Urban sings through a breakup, mourning the loss of his loved one. He stays up through the night and drives around the city to clear his mind, but he cannot stop thinking of his ex with someone else.

This song was recorded in 20002 and peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It peaked at number 24 on the Hot 100 and remained on the charts for two weeks.

7. Mama’s Broken Heart by Miranda Lambert

Song Year: 2011

This song won numerous awards, including the Academy of Country Music Award for Single of the Year and the CMT Award for Female Video of the Year.

Mama’s Broken Heart is Miranda Lambert’s classic breakup song. The song’s lyrics chronicle one woman’s rebellion following a restrictive relationship. She cuts her bangs, drinks heavily, and attempts to navigate her way through the aftermath of the breakup.

Miranda Lambert launched her debut in 2001 and has remained active as a country music singer ever since.

8. Cowgirls Don’t Cry (Feat. Reba McIntire) by Brooks and Dunn

Song Year: 2007

This beautiful song by Brooks, Dunn, and Reba McIntire covers the length of a young woman’s complicated life. The song chronicles her many heartbreaking experiences, including a divorce and the loss of her father, punctuated with a refrain that cowgirls don’t cry—no matter what.

The song features an upbeat melody with a compelling violin solo. Despite its somewhat depressing theme, it’s catchy and perfect to dance to.

9. Tomorrow by Chris Young

Song Year: 2011

Tomorrow is a song about an experience most people can relate to convincing oneself to leave an unhealthy relationship. In this song, Chris Young maintains that the relationship is nearing its end because the two aren’t suitable for one another. However, despite his doubt, he wants to try to make it work one last time.

The song’s tune is as sad as its lyrics, so it’s the perfect song to cry to without a loved one. Chris Young’s deep baritone complements the guitar and violin backtrack, making this one of the best songs on this list.

10. Tin Man by Miranda Lambert

Song Year: 2016

If you’ve ever seen The Wizard of Oz, you know that the Tin Man character is missing a heart. Miranda Lambert’s classic breakup song is addressed to the tin man. She maintains that he is lucky not to have a seat because they are bound to break. She envies him for his imperviousness to emotional damage.

The song features a mournful melody and poetic lyrics against a slow guitar backtrack. It’s a beautiful song—and one that most can relate to.

11. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain by Willie Nelson

Song Year: 1975

Fred Rose originally wrote this song for Roy Acuff, and it received considerable acclaim upon its first release. However, Willie Nelson’s version, cut by Hank Williams, remains the better-known version of this breakup ballad.

The song is an acoustic tune without a chorus that covers the many metaphors we attach to love and breakups. The singer asserts that the one thing he will never forget about his relationship is his lover’s blue eyes, crying in the pouring rain. This song touches on the timeless themes of love and heartbreak and fits neatly among others on this list.

12. The Dance by Garth Brooks

Song Year: 1989

This song touches on a rare theme amongst the songs on this list. Garth Brooks’ hit single touches on the end of a mourning period. The singer maintains that he has found peace from listening to a song about a breakup.

Garth Brooks is one of the most successful best-selling solo artists in history. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he entered the country music scene in the 1980s. Since then, he has earned numerous awards and sold over 170 million records.

13. Watching Airplanes by Gary Allan

Song Year: 2007

Everyone ruminates after the end of a relationship—but not all of us turn those ruminations into a song. Gary Allan did so, however, with great success. His music, Watching Airplanes, debuted at number 53 on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It peaked at number two on the Hot Country Singles chart.

The song is about watching airplanes and contemplating losing a loved one. Brooks searches the sky, wondering which aircraft his ex might be in.

14. Crazy by Patsy Kline

Song Year: 1961

This is one of the most popular, timeless songs on this list.

Crazy is about the end of a relationship when a person feels highly unstable and depressed. Cline sings about the irrationality of love, maintaining that she always knew that her lover would leave her.

Patsy Cline was a hit country and pop singer in the mid-20th century. She is best known for this song and is one of the first artists in history to enter the pop music scene.

15. Just to See You Smile by Tim McGraw

Just to See You Smile by Tim McGraw

Song Year: 1997

Tim McGraw is one of the most successful country music singers in the genre’s long history. Worth over $219 million, he earns money through music, acting, endorsements, and real estate. His song, Just to See You Smile, is among his most famous.

Written by Mark Nesler and Tony Martin, this song is about wanting the best for someone despite one’s sadness at losing them. The singer maintains his desire to see his loved one’s smile and to make her happy no matter what that looks like. The melody is upbeat and catchy despite the sad theme of the song.

16. Dreaming My Dreams With You by Waylon Jennings

Song Year: 1975

Waylon Jennings released Dreaming My Dreams With You on his studio album, Dreaming My Dreams. In this song, he chronicles the end of a problematic relationship. He hopes to one day move on from his loss but struggles to imagine a world without his ex.

Waylon Jennings founded the Outlaw movement in country music, launching a sub-genre that would eventually go down in history. He is known for his deep, rich vocals and meaningful lyrics.

17. What He Didn’t Do by Carly Pearce

Song Year: 2021

Have you ever broken up with someone, not because of what they did, but because of what they didn’t do? That’s what this song is about. Carly Piearce lists the many things her ex neglected to do in their relationship, including respecting her boundaries and maintaining honesty in communication. The song features relatable lyrics and a classic country music tune. It marked Pearce’s considerable success in the early 2020s. Pearce is a country and bluegrass singer and songwriter who blends traditional sounds with contemporary lyrics.

18. Give It Away by George Strait

Song Year: 2006

This song was George Strait’s 41st number-one single, peaking on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and setting a new record for the most hit singles attributed to one artist.

Strait chronicles the moment his wife left him and decided to donate their mutual possessions. She tells him to give everything away because nothing is left in their relationship. Ultimately, he cannot get rid of his possessions, tending to a broken heart amidst the debris of their shared life.

19. Stay by Sugarland

Song Year: 2006

From beloved country band Sugarland comes a classic song about the damaging effects of a breakup.

This song is told by a woman whose partner is cheating on her with someone else. She begs him to stay, but he will not.  He eventually leaves her for the other woman, and she manages the emotional damage in his wake.

Sugarland is a country duo comprising singer Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush. They are known for their top songs, All I Want to Do, Stuck Like Glue, and Stay.

20. Every Light in the House is On by Trace Adkins

Song Year: 1996

Every Light in the House is On was written initially by Kent Robbins and recorded by Trace Adkins. Adkins is a country music singer known for his meaningful lyrics and compelling music videos.

This song is about the ending of the narrator’s marriage. He tells his wife that he will leave a light on for her to find when she returns, but he leaves every morning out of desperation to see her again. The song is a mid-tempo ballad with fiddle and piano accompaniment—among Adkins’ best.

21. You and Tequila by Kenny Chesney ft. Grace Potter

Song Year: 2010

This song is about one man’s toxic relationship with a woman—and drinking. When his relationship ends, he drinks more, desperate to get high. Ultimately, he realizes his behaviors are toxic and swears he won’t return to the woman and the drink.

Kenny Chesney is one of the few country music artists who are sober. He is open about his history as a drinker and addict, though he sought help from the Alcoholics Anonymous program and remains straight.

22. For My Broken Heart by Reba McEntire

Song Year: 1991

Reba McIntire is one of the most successful artists in country music history. She has been nicknamed the Queen of Country for selling nearly 75 million records worldwide. McEntire has placed over 100 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and remains active.

This song, For My Broken Heart, is about the unfortunate ending of a relationship. The protagonist helps her lover pack up his car and drive away, lamenting the loss of words to say. She struggles to maintain her composure in his absence and cries herself to sleep.

23. Space Cowboy by Kacey Musgraves

Song Year: 2018

This song is about a young woman who is finally overcoming the loss of her ex-boyfriend. She allows him to decide whether or not he wishes to stay with her and refuses to chase him after he is gone, maintaining that she deserves better.

Kacey Musgraves is a relatively new addition to the country music scene. Musgraves is 34 years old and has been a celebrated musician since her debut in 2013 with the release of Same Trailer Different Park. i

24. Drinkin’Too Much by Sam Hunt

Song Year: 2020 

In this song, Sam Hunt draws from a shared experience: drinking too much to cope with the absence of a lover. The song’s protagonist is a young man whose wife has left him, and Hunt has been open about its subject, his ex-wife Hannah Lee Fowler. In this ballad, he apologizes for his indiscretions and for using his wife as material for his music. He expresses his sadness at the end of the relationship and asks for her blessing in sharing the song with the public.

Although Hunt is known for his honest lyrics, this is one of his more vulnerable tracks.

25. Kiss This by Aaron Tippin

Song Year: 2000

Infidelity in a relationship often makes people vengeful. Aaron Tippin’s Kiss This song touches on a young couple’s grappling with dishonesty and cheating. The story is told from the woman’s perspective. She attempts to drown her sorrows in liquor but confronts the man instead, insulting him for his betrayal.

This song provides the catharsis needed for those who never got a chance to say what they were thinking, and its upbeat tune is just galvanizing enough that it might convince you to go ahead and speak your mind.

26. Break Down Here by Julie Roberts

Break Down Here by Julie Roberts

Song Year: 2004

This song is about the dreaded moment a young woman finally leaves her toxic relationship. She laments her lover’s false promises and betrayals as she packs up her possessions and takes off in her car.

Patrick Jason Matthews and Jess Brown originally wrote the song. It is a mid-tempo ballad played by country music singer Julie Roberts. Roberts’ single peaked at number 18 on the country music charts and remained there for a number of weeks. Critics well received it, and it remains popular to this day.

27. Over When It’s Over by Eric Church

Song Year: 2011

Sometimes, breakups are mutual, and both parties agree that they are better off apart. Eric Church’s Over When It’s Over is about one instance in which two lovers decide to end their relationship. After many false alarms, they ultimately decide to go their separate ways.

Eric Church is a country music singer, as well as songwriter, hailing from North Carolina. He’s released nine studio albums and several hit singles, earning a spot on the Billboard charts.

28. Someone Else Calling You Baby by Luke Bryan

Song Year: 2009

Someone Else Calling You Baby is an uptempo tune featuring Luke Bryan’s classic vocals and an electric guitar solo. It was released as the third hit single from the artist’s 2009 album Doin’ My Thing. The song peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

In this song, Bryan describes seeing his ex-girlfriend in a truck with another man. He worries that someone else is loving her as he could not.

29. Tight on My Boat by The Chicks

Song Year: 2020

Though there are many things you might want to say in a breakup, they are often inappropriate. This song provides a much-needed catharsis for those in the early stages of a division. The protagonist names all her vengeful wishes for her ex-lover in the music. She hopes, for example, that he dies painfully and loses all of his socks. The listener later finds her angry because her lover cheated on her with someone else. The song is the perfect addition to any breakup playlist.

30. I’d Be Better Off in a Pine Box by Doug Stone

Song Year: 1990

This beautiful song boasts a soft, reflective melody and profound lyrics that touch on the timeless theme of jealousy.

In this song, Doug Stone sings from the perspective of a man who has seen his recent ex-wife with someone else. He maintains that he would rather be dead or in prison than see her again with another man. It’s a sentiment we can all relate to, and one that earned Stone the number four spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

Doug Stone is a contemporary country music artist with a deep baritone. I’d Be Better Off in a Pine Box was his debut single, and he announced his arrival.

31. If You See Him by Brooks and Dunn With Reba McIntire

Song Year: 2010

This song is unique in that it covers both sides of a breakup. Conceived initially as a solo by writers Terry McBride, Jennifer Kimball, and Tommy Lee James, it was a duet to accommodate Brooks & Dunn.

This song is about the problematic emotions accompanying a relationship’s end. The man doesn’t know why the relationship ended, while the woman maintains that she still misses her partner. Ultimately, they both realize that they still have feelings for one another.

32. A Bad Goodbye by Clint Black

Song Year: 1993

Sometimes, leaving a person is the best decision you can make. This song is about that decision—and how hard it can be to make the first move.

Black sings from a man’s perspective who finds himself unhappy in this relationship. He decides to leave his partner but cannot bring himself. He asserts his wish to leave her on pleasant terms despite their difficult moments together.

Clint Black is a country music singer and songwriter signed to RCA Nashville. His debut album hit number one on the charts, and he has remained popular ever since.

33. Mercy by Brett Young

Song Year: 2017

Brett Young knows how to write a good breakup song. Mercy is about a young man attempting to separate from a woman he still loves. Although their relationship is no longer functioning, she continues to hold onto him, trying to make it work. He begs her to have mercy on him and leave him, but he cannot bring himself to do it.

Brett Young debuted in 2016 and has remained prominent in country music. He was once a college baseball player before becoming a musician.

34. Picture by Kid Rock ft. Sheryl Crow

Song Year: 2002

This song is a beautiful, harmonic duet written and performed by Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock. It was released in 2002 on Kid Rock’s album Cocky.

The song touches on the difficulty of coping with the aftermath of a breakup. The male partner sings about his promiscuity and problem finding intimacy again. The female partner expresses her jealousy and drinks in her lover’s absence.

Although the song was initially released as an alternative rock ballad, it was adapted for the country music style to appeal to a broader audience.

35. Better Man by Little Big Town

Song Year: 2016

Although this song was performed and recorded by the band Little Big Town, it was written by hit country pop singer Taylor Swift.

The song touches on the emotional damage that follows infidelity and heartbreak. The protagonist expresses her mixed emotions after the breakup, lamenting the loss of her partner but determining that their separation is ultimately the right thing to do.

Little Big Town is a country music band consisting of Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jimi Westbrook.

36. Keep It To Yourself by Kacey Musgraves

Song Year: 2013

Kacey Musgraves has written several of the songs on this list. At only 34 years old, Musgraves has won six Grammy Awards and seven Country Music Association Awards. Her piece, Keep It to Yourself, is among her best. It covers a breakup from the perspective of a lonely heart lamenting the absence of a lover. She hears from her friends that her ex wants to rekindle the relationship, but she asks him to keep his feelings to himself and try to move on.

Sometimes, letting a relationship go is better than holding on for dear life.

37. Break Up in the End by Cole Swindell

Song Year: 2018

This track is a recounting of one man’s relationship with his ex-lover. He tells the story of their relationship from beginning to end, maintaining that he would repeat the experience—even if he knew that they broke up at the end. No matter how complex a relationship may be, the experience is almost always worth it because of the lessons learned.

Cole Swindell is a country music artist with four studio albums. His song, She Had Me at Carolina, peaked on the Billboard charts for several weeks.

38. Neon Moon by Brooks & Dunn

Neon Moon by Brooks & Dunn

Song Year: 1991

Neon Moon is a country song about the aftermath of a breakup. A man laments the loss of his lover, spending each night alone. The young man grows lonely as night falls. He sits alone at a table for two in a dark bar by the light of its neon signs.

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn are acclaimed vocalists and songwriters with several top hits, many of which are about breakups.

39. Better as a Memory by Kenny Chesney

Song Year: 2007

This song differs from the rest in that it is not about falling apart but about resilience in the face of adversity. The protagonist maintains that though he is hurt, he isn’t broken. Even though his relationship has ended, he refuses to succumb to his depression or stew in his emotion. The song features a catchy upbeat tune, and compelling piano backtrack. It’s a great song to listen to in the aftermath of a relationship’s end, and it will inspire you to press on no matter how sad you are.

40. Blame It on Your Heart by Patty Loveless

Song Year: 1993

Country music sensations Kostas Lazarides and Harlan Howard wrote Blame It on Your Heart for Patty Loveless in 1993.

This song touches on one woman’s rancorous emotions towards an ex-boyfriend who slighted her. She scorns him for cheating and lying, saying she won’t make the same mistake twice.

Patty Loveless released this song as the first single from her album Only What I Feel. It spent over 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks charts.

41. Brokenheartsville by Joe Nichols

Song Year: 2002

It’s a story as old as time: a lousy boy meets a good girl and breaks her heart.

That’s what this song is about. A young man charms and seduces a girl away from her lover. The story is told from the scorned lover’s perspective. He maintains his well wishes for the new couple as he nurses a broken heart.

The song spent several weeks at number one on the Hot Country Songs chart and earned several awards for its compelling lyricism and catchy tune.

42. Bye Bye by Jo Dee Messina

Song Year: 1998

This song is about finally moving on after the end of a relationship. The protagonist expresses her desire to continue living without dwelling on the past. She hops in her car and drives away from her former flame, maintaining that she won’t look back once she is gone.

The song debuted at number 59 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, eventually moving on to becoming number one later that year.

Joe Dee Messina is a country music singer known for her classic vocals and relatable thematic focus.

43. I’m Gonna Miss Her by Brad Paisley

Song Year: 2001

Brad Paisley is a country music singer and songwriter who has released over 12 albums and won numerous awards. Paisley’s song, I’m Going to Miss Her, is famous for its relatability.

This song is part comedy, part tragedy. It tells the story of a young man who leaves his lover because he wants to spend more time fishing. He heals his broken heart by spending his days fishing and enjoying nature instead of ruminating on the past. As long as he is fishing, he doesn’t miss his ex.

44. Sticks and Stones by Tracy Lawrence

Song Year: 1991

In this song, the protagonist tells his soon-to-be ex-fiancée that she can take all their possessions since he is tired of her worldly life. He means that controls alone do not make a happy home and that she must find something more meaningful to live a good life.
The song is a refreshing take on the post-breakup ballad, and Tracy Lawrence’s smooth vocals and skilled guitarist and fiddle players make the song the hit that it is.

45. Trouble With a Heartbreak by Jason Aldean

Song Year: 2022

Jason Aldean is a prolific country music artist with over ten studio albums. His album, My Kinda Party, is certified quadruple platinum, and his singles have topped the charts several times.

His hit song, Trouble With a Heartbreak, touches on the difficulty of coping with loss. The song is told from the perspective of someone advising the heartbroken, maintaining that recovery will be long and hard but ultimately worthwhile. It’s a great song to get you through your subsequent breakup since it offers an inspirational message of resilience and hope.

46. Better Class of Losers by Randy Travis

Song Year: 1996

Randy Travis is a singer and songwriter who has sold over 25 million albums. Since the mid-20th century, he has transcended the country genre and made gospel music.

Travis’ song, Better Class of Losers, is about the end of a long, tumultuous relationship in which he felt judged for his financial position. His ex-girlfriend’s friends were stuck up and looked down on him, so she left him for someone else. He maintains that he is happy to return to his friends, the losers referred to in the song’s title, as they aren’t as arrogant and cold.

47. Smoke Rings in the Dark by Gary Allan

Song Year: 1999

This song is about a mutual breakup in which both parties determine that they aren’t well suited for one another. Although he has tried to make her love him, he remains lonely even in the relationship. Ultimately, the fire of their love has turned to ash and smoke, referred to in the song’s title.

Gary Allen is a singer and songwriter from California. He made his hit debut in 1996 with the release of Her Man, a hit single. 

48. What If I Never Get Over You by Lady A

Song Year: 2019

This is one song everyone can relate to; it’s about the fear of never getting over an ex-partner. In this song, the protagonist fears dwelling on the relationship forever. She can’t seem to move on and worries about never getting the closure she needs to develop intimacy with another person.

Lady A, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, is an American country music band formed in Nashville, Tennessee. The band comprises Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, and Hillary Scott.

49. Over for You by Morgan Evans

Song Year: 2023

This song is about when a young man realizes that his lover will leave him. She takes their pictures down from the wall and separates herself from him emotionally. He feels betrayed because she has considered leaving him for a long time. Despite her silence, he realizes the moment has come.

Morgan Evans is relatively new to the country music scene but promises a long and fruitful career. He is a contemporary singer and songwriter with a unique voice and a flair for the dramatic.

50. Wish I Didn’t Know Now by Toby Keith

Song Year: 1993

You guessed it; this song is about cheating and betrayal. Toby Keith sings from the perspective of a man whose wife is cheating on him (or so he suspects). He begs her to keep it a secret and not to tell him anything, as it would hurt too much. 

This is ultimately an experience we can all relate to, and unfortunately, it is all too common.

51. When I Call Your Name by Vince Gill

Song Year: 1989

From hit country artist Vince Gill comes another song about betrayal and lies. The protagonist returns home from work, eager to see his lover, but she has left him a note on the kitchen table expressing her desire to go and be with another man.

The song is about the disappointment that accompanies the end of a relationship and what happens when one party gives up on it entirely.

52. Picture to Burn by Taylor Swift

Song Year: 2006

As its name suggests, this song is about burning a picture of an ex-partner in anger. Taylor Swift writes from the perspective of a slighted woman who resents how her ex has portrayed her as unstable. She lets loose and tells him every criticism she has ever had about his lifestyle, burning his pictures in the process.

Taylor Swift is one of American history’s most prosperous country and pop singers. This is only one of her many hit songs.

53. I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton

I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton

Song Year: 1974

Dolly Parton is one of the richest female singers in the world. She owns an amusement park in Tennessee called Dollywood.

Her hit song, I Will Always Love You, topped the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1974 and was later re-released in 1982.

This song is about the bittersweet end to a relationship and the singer’s surviving feelings for her former lover. It touches on themes of resilience and hopes for the future.

Top Country Songs About Breaking Up, Final Thoughts

The songs on this list are some of the best breakup songs in American country music. Each expresses a different sentiment related to the end of a relationship.

Throw them all together to make the perfect playlist, or pick your favorites and send them to a friend! Happy listening—and may you heal quickly.

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