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Burlesque (2010 American film)

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Title: Burlesque (2010 American film)  
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Subject: Cher, Steve Antin, Christina Aguilera, Bojan Bazelli, Blair Redford, Eric Dane, Cam Gigandet, Michael Landes, Terrence J, Wendy Benson
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Burlesque (2010 American film)

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steven Antin
Produced by Donald De Line[1]
Written by Susannah Grant (revision)
Screenplay by Steven Antin
Diablo Cody
Starring Christina Aguilera
Cam Gigandet
Kristen Bell
Stanley Tucci
Eric Dane
Julianne Hough
Alan Cumming
Peter Gallagher
Dianna Agron
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography Bojan Bazelli
Edited by Virginia Katz
Distributed by Screen Gems
Release dates
  • November 24, 2010 (2010-11-24)
Running time 119 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $55 million
Box office $89,657,3980[2]
$119,710,764[3] (with DVD sales)

Burlesque is a 2010 musical film directed and written by Steven Antin and starring Cher and Christina Aguilera. The film was released on November 24, 2010 in North America. This film was the debut of pop singer Aguilera as an actress, and also starred Eric Dane, Cam Gigandet, Julianne Hough, Alan Cumming, Peter Gallagher, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci and Dianna Agron.

Cher and Aguilera contributed to the soundtrack album, with Aguilera contributing eight out of the ten songs and Cher taking the remaining two. The album was released in the USA on November 22, 2010[4] and received two nominations at the 54th Grammy Awards. The song "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me", penned by Diane Warren and sung by Cher, won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in 2011, while the movie was nominated for the Golden Globe Award in the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category. The film has grossed over $90 million worldwide. It is rated PG-13.


Ali Rose (Christina Aguilera) works as a waitress at a bar in Iowa and when her boss refuses to pay her, quits her job and moves to Los Angeles. Once in L.A., she fails at every audition for which she tries out until one night after hearing the music on the street, she finds herself unknowingly at a burlesque club.

Catching a glimpse of one of the dancers on break, she goes into the club and finds Tess (Cher) and the dancers performing "Welcome to Burlesque". Once she meets Jack (Gigandet), a bartender at the club, who is also a song-writer, Ali decides to pursue a career on the stage.

Jack refers her to Tess for an audition, but is rejected instantly and ushered out by Sean (Tucci). Instead of leaving, Ali notices the club staff is short-handed and overworked, so she shrugs and begins serving customers, while Tess and Sean observe with Jack asking Tess to give Ali a chance and hire her as a waitress. Ali takes the position, studying all the dance numbers while waiting tables and trying to befriend a couple of the dancers, who snub her.

Since she has no place to stay, Jack offers up his couch until she finds a place of her own. Thinking Jack is gay, Ali accepts and then comes to find out that Jack is not only not gay, but is also engaged to Natalie, a narcississtic blonde bombshell of a Broadway actress (Agron), who is currently back in New York starring in a play. Ali feels uncomfortable staying with Jack knowing that he is not gay and leaves his apartment. However, Jack receives a call from Natalie after Ali leaves, telling him that her play has been extended and she'll be gone for several more months. Jack chases after Ali, asking her to stay and help him with the rent, to which Ali agrees—as long as she gets the bedroom.

When Georgia (Hough) becomes pregnant, auditions are held to replace her. Tess doesn't want anything to do with Ali as a dancer until she curtly explains that Tess can pic any number at all and she'll perform it flawlessly. Ali begins her audition when everyone leaves, and after living up to her word performing "Wagon Wheel Watusi", Tess grudgingly allows her to become one of the club's dancers. Much to the annoyance of Nikki (Bell), an arrogant and snobbish performer who is always late and caught drinking before numbers, Nikki realizes Ali is indeed a better dancer than she is and tries to sabotage Ali at every turn.

Although the club appears to be doing well, Tess is still unable to pay the bank and is at risk of losing the club, co-owned with Vince (Gallagher), Tess's ex-husband. Meanwhile, a wealthy businessman, Marcus (Dane), who is also a regular customer and fan of Nikki, has been trying to buy the club from Tess, who refuses to sell, even though Vince thinks she's making a mistake.

On a night when Nikki has had too much to drink, Tess tells Ali that she will take Nikki's place, which infuriates Nikki incredibly. In her first noticeable attempt to sabotage Ali, and the show in general, Nikki tells the DJ that Tess needs to see him immediately. When he leaves his booth, Nikki pulls a plug on the sound board, successfully interrupting the music and stopping the show. Since all of the numbers are lip-synced, Tess tells Sean (Tucci), the club's manager, to lower the curtain, but Ali begins to sing the song herself accapella. The live band slowly begins to play along with her, leaving the entire club, including Tess in awe of Ali's voice.

After the show, Tess, being reminded of herself at Ali's age praises the new singer and tells everyone that she is going to rewrite the entire show around Ali, who will now sing live, believing that Ali is the ticket to boosting sales and getting her club out of debt. This infuriates Nikki even more than before because it was Nikki herself that originally suggested that performers sing live, only to be dismissed by Tess, saying: People come here to see beautiful boys and girls lip-sync to the stars. When reminded of her so-called rule, Tess replies matter-of-factly that people WILL come to hear Ali sing with a voice like that.

This is also the time when Marcus basically ditches Nikki and takes notice of Ali, so Nikki is even more antagonistic towards Ali, who enjoys her newly found popularity; indulging in attention and expensive gifts from Marcus.

Cher re-enacting a scene from Burlesque during her 2014 Dressed to Kill Tour

While Jack is still engaged to Natalie, there is obvious chemistry between him and Ali, and Jack becomes jealous of all the time she's been spending with Marcus. Eventually, Jack takes back his bedroom since she's never home anyway and tensions grow stronger when she antagonizes him about not finishing any of his songs, nor letting her hear any. One night after the club closes, Tess, worried with the club's economic prospects, sings "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me".

Feeling more than a little put out after her three attempts at sabotage all backfire on her, a very jealous Nikki shows up drunk and picks a fight with Tess, calling Ali a "slut with mutant lungs". Tess, who has grown frustrated with Nikki, defends Ali and questions her own gratitude for the numerous help she has received from Tess, `peeling her up off the pavement' on several occasions and `holding her head while she disgorged everything but her memories'. Angered, Nikki quits on the spot, and falsely confesses that she slept with Vince after his and Tess' honeymoon. The altercation ends when Tess angrily retaliates by smashing the passenger side window on Nikki's convertible with a crowbar.

At Georgia's wedding, Jack appears to call off his engagement to Natalie while on the phone with her and winds up getting drunk. That night, Ali and Jack sleep together, but the following morning Natalie returns unexpectedly from New York and tells Ali that she and Jack are still together. Jack denies this, and while trying to fix things, he asks Ali to leave. Feeling heartbroken and betrayed, Ali runs to Sean for support, who prompts her to go with Marcus after she receives a call from him. Jack tracks Ali down at Sean's, but Sean tells him he's too late.

While spending time with Marcus, Ali learns about "air rights", which refers to buying the empty space above a building so that nothing can be built above a certain height. Ali breaks things off with Marcus after she sees his plans to build a skyscraper at the location on which the club sits.

After going back to try and patch it up with Nikki, who finally realizes that the trouble is not with her but that Marcus is a manipulator and will do the same to everybody he can, Nikki is not only hurt and stung by this but also realizes that Ali was actually trying to save her from beating herself up over somebody that wasn't worth the time of day. Coming to terms with the fact that Marcus will only take people under his wing in order to use them until they are no longer useful, Nikki returns home for some contemplation.

Tess has just made the rounds of the bankers once again in desperation, and finding no sympathy, comes in with a very large and nearly-empty bottle in her hand. Ali returns to the club and brazenly tries to tell Tess of Marcus's plans, but she is rebuffed. Storming into her office, Ali accuses her of being so narcissistic she can't even see straight.

Torn between the aggravation from a subordinate telling her the truth and the attraction of once again seeing Ali as her younger self with the same determination that got her to where she is today (both good and bad), Tess allows Ali to explain about Marcus' devious plans. Together they go across the street from the club to inform the owner of the new million-dollar condos being built there that the million-dollar views he's been advertising will be ruined by the skyscraper that Marcus plans on building in the club's place if she sells to him, unless he agrees to buy her air rights immediately before Marcus can get his project off the ground. Fearing the loss of business that would result from the obstruction of his prospective tenants' view, he purchases the air rights to the club's property at once.

The resulting money is enough for Tess to pay off the bank, with enough left over to not only buy out Vince's share but to re-fashion the club and remodel it to her own vision as well. Nikki also reappears, apologizing to Tess and admitting she lied about sleeping with Vince. Tess accepts her apology and rehires her. Ali finds out about Nikki and Marcus, and the two girls begin a tenuous bond over being wronged by the same man which blossoms into a true friendship.

Jack finds Ali in the dressing room preparing for a number, tells her that it's over with Natalie, apologizes, to Ali and says that he wants to be with her and Ali forgives him.

The film closes with Ali featuring in front of the dancers, performing one last number, Jack's first published song, entitled "Show Me How You Burlesque".



Aguilera made her theatrical film and musical debut as the lead character, a "small-town girl with a big voice," who finds work at a Los Angeles Neo-Burlesque club, inspired by Bob Fosse's Cabaret and European Burlesque entertainment.[12] Burlesque started shooting on November 9, 2009[6] and ended on March 3, 2010. Cher co-stars in her first film role since 2003's Stuck on You and first musical film.[1] She plays Tess, a former dancer who struggles to keep the nightclub open and serves as a mentor to Aguilera's character, Ali. Aguilera's love interest is played by Cam Gigandet, Stanley Tucci is the nightclub's manager, and Alan Cumming, Kristen Bell, Eric Dane, and Julianne Hough round off the cast.[6] Dianna Agron makes a cameo as Jack's fiancee, Natalie. Antin wrote the script, and Diablo Cody (Juno) revised it,[13] which was later revised and edited by Susannah Grant.[12] Burlesque is Screen Gems' most expensive movies, with the exception of the Resident Evil films, with costs of $55 million.[14]


Musical numbers

  1. "Something's Got a Hold on Me (Christina Aguilera)" – Ali and the Burlesque Lounge Troupe
  2. "My Drag (Deva Dragon & Squirrel Nut Zippers)" – The Burlesque Lounge Troupe
  3. "Welcome to Burlesque Tango" – The Band
  4. "Welcome to Burlesque (Cher)" – Tess and the Burlesque Lounge Troupe
  5. "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend (Swing Cats Remix) (Marilyn Monroe)" – Nikki, Georgia and the Burlesque Lounge Troupe
  6. "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend (outro by Christina Aguilera)" – Ali
  7. "Long John Blues (Megan Mullally)" – Nikki
  8. "Nasty Naughty Boy (Christina Aguilera/instrumental version)" – Ali
  9. "Wagon Wheel Watusi (Elmer Bernstein)" – Ali
  10. "Ray of Light (Madonna)" – The Burlesque Lounge Troupe
  11. "That's Life (Alan Cumming)" – Alexis (DVD Blu-Ray Special Feature)
  12. "Tough Lover (Etta James)" – The Burlesque Lounge Troupe
  13. "Tough Lover (Christina Aguilera)" – Ali
  14. "I Am a Good Girl (Christina Aguilera)" – Ali
  15. "A Guy What Takes His Time (Christina Aguilera)" – Ali
  16. "Express (Christina Aguilera)" – Ali and the Burlesque Lounge Troupe
  17. "Jungle Berlin (instrumental)" – Alexis and The Contortionists
  18. "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me (Cher)" – Tess
  19. "Bound To You (Christina Aguilera)" – Ali
  20. "Show Me How You Burlesque (Christina Aguilera)" – Ali and the Burlesque Lounge Troup


The soundtrack album features ten tracks: eight performed by Aguilera including "Express"; and two performed by Cher which are her first original recordings in 7 years. The soundtrack includes a mix of original and cover songs. Both the ballads from the soundtrack – "Bound to You" performed by Aguilera and "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" performed by Cher – were nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Cher's "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me", which was written by Diane Warren, won the award.[15][16] In United States, the soundtrack was certified Gold by the RIAA for shipments of 500,000 copies in October 2011[17]



The theatrical trailer was attached to screenings of Step Up 3D and Easy A. The first TV spot premiered during the season 2 premiere of Fox's Glee on September 21, 2010. A third TV spot also aired the following day during Dancing with the Stars, later followed by another during MTV's Jersey Shore. Several teasers have been released for promotional purposes including the Etta James's "Something's Got a Hold on Me". This was then followed by the track "But I Am a Good Girl" which was released in November 2010.[4]

Aguilera performed "Bound to You" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and gave an interview and performance on Conan. Aguilera also gave an interview to show host Chelsea Handler to discuss the film and other subjects. On November 19, 2010, Aguilera also gave a television interview to Ellen DeGeneres. She then performed a track from the soundtrack, the Etta James track "Something's Got a Hold on Me". Aguilera performed "Express" at the American Music Awards of 2010 and "Show Me How You Burlesque" at the Dancing with the Stars finale. She also performed "Express" on the final of the seventh series of The X Factor which received criticism and complaints for the raunchy content.[18]

Home media

The DVD and Blu-ray were released in North America on March 1, 2011.[19] A Blu-ray/DVD combo has been released as well. The DVD and Blu-ray sales exceed one million units and have grossed $20,563,918 in the United States alone;[20] and, as of May 19, 2011, it is the 19th highest selling movie of the year.[21] In all, the DVD has sold over 1.4 million units in the United States.[20] Overall, it has grossed over $30,053,366 on video sales (DVD and Blu-ray sales) in United States alone.[22]


Critical response

Movie review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes labeled Burlesque with a 36% rating based on 143 reviews,[23] with the consensus of critics nationwide saying that the film is "Campy and clichéd...wastes its talented cast (including a better-than-expected Christina Aguilera) on a movie that wavers uncertainly between 'bad' and 'so bad it's good.'" Metacritic, however, said the film received mixed to bad reviews, and gave the film a weighted average score of 47%, based on 38 reviews.[24] Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune said, "The choicest dialogue in Burlesque provokes the sort of laughter that other, intentionally funny films only dream of generating."[25][26] Mick LeSalle from San Francisco Chronicle gave the movie a full score and praised Aguilera's acting, calling her "jaw-droppingly good in several numbers" and said, "Aguilera knows how to listen to her fellow actors, to react and be spontaneous, and it makes all the difference".[27] Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter called Burlesque "a refreshing throwback to movie musicals that celebrates its stars while indulging in sexy fun" and also praised Aguilera's acting and singing.[28] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said, "Aguilera can dance like nobody's business, but her acting debut isn't going to keep Anne Hathaway awake at night."[29] Stanley Tucci's performance received praise from Entertainment Weekly[30] and Empire thought the dance numbers were thrilling.[31] Time Out labelled the drama "perfunctory"[32] while Roger Ebert said that "Burlesque shows Cher and Christina Aguilera being all that they can be, and that's more than enough."[33] Variety observed that the film "wants to be Cabaret, but lacks the edge and historical context to pull it off."[34] The New York Times said that the story line "had already gathered dust by the time [of] the 1933 musical 42nd Street.".[35]

Box office

Burlesque was released on Wednesday, November 24, 2010, the day before Thanksgiving in the United States; on its opening day, it came in third to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Tangled. On Thursday, November 25, 2010, it dropped down to fourth place in the box office behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Tangled and Unstoppable and went down to fifth on Friday, November 26, 2010. On Sunday, November 28, 2010, it went back up to third place behind Tangled and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. It stayed in the top five until December 10, 2010, when it fell to sixth behind The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Tourist, Tangled, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Unstoppable. By the Christmas weekend, it was number 15 at the box office.[36]

The week after Thanksgiving, Burlesque experienced a substantial decrease on ticket sales, earning $9.65 million ($6.1 million for the weekend), for a total of $26.98 million for its first twelve days.[37] As of February 6, 2011, it had grossed $39.4 million in North America, and, as of May 15, 2011, $50.15 million in foreign countries, for a total of $90 million worldwide.[2]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Result
2010 NewNowNext Awards Best Future Feature Won
Houston Film Critics Society Awards 2010 Best Original Song "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me"
Written by Diane Warren, performed by Cher.
Satellite Awards Best Original Song "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me"
Written by Diane Warren, performed by Cher.
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Original Song "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me"
Written by Diane Warren, performed by Cher.
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards 2010 Best Music Nominated
2011 Critics' Choice Awards Best Song "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me"
Written by Diane Warren, performed by Cher.
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Original Song "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me"
Written by Diane Warren, performed by Cher.
Best Original Song "Bound to You"
Written by Christina Aguilera, Samuel Dixon, Sia Furler, performed by Christina Aguilera.
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Supporting Actress Cher Nominated
GALECA Dorian Awards[38] Campy (Intentional or Not) Film Of The Year Won
Golden Reel Awards[39] Best Sound Editing: Music in a Musical Feature Nominated
Costume Designers Guild Awards Excellence In Contemporary Film Burlesque
Michael Kaplan
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Film – Wide Release Nominated
ALMA Awards Favorite Film Leading Actress – Comedy or Musical Christina Aguilera Nominated
World Soundtrack Awards Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me"
Written by Diane Warren, performed by Cher.
2012 Japan Gold Disc Awards 2012[40] Soundtrack Album of the Year Burlesque: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Won
Grammy Awards Best Song Written for Visual Media "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me"
Written by Diane Warren, performed by Cher.
Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media Burlesque: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Nominated

See also


  1. ^ a b Fleming, Michael (June 22, 2009). "'"Cher joining Aguilera in 'Burlesque. Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b (2010)"Burlesque". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  3. ^ (2010)"Burlesque". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Calgary Herald
  5. ^ Morgan, Sal (March 5, 2010). "Behind the scenes of Christina Aguilera's Burlesque movie". Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d Siegel, Tatiana (November 17, 2009). "'"Eric Dane buys ticket for 'Burlesque. Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  7. ^ Kit, Borys (October 8, 2009). "'"Kristen Bell cast in 'Burlesque. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 8, 2009. 
  8. ^ Fleming, Michael (September 23, 2009). "'"Stanley Tucci goes 'Burlesque. Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  9. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 21, 2009). "Alan Cumming". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved October 23, 2009. 
  10. ^ Eng, Joyce (December 14, 2009). "Julianne Hough Grooves On With New Projects". TV Guide. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  11. ^ Potempa, Philip (December 16, 2009). "Peter Gallagher/ Hershey Felder ideal duo for Drury Lane Water Tower stage". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b Fleming, Michael (May 4, 2009). "'"Christina Aguilera going 'Burlesque. Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  13. ^ Fleming, Michael (October 15, 2007). "'"Screen Gems enlists Antin for 'Burlesque. Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved September 26, 2009. Antin wrote the script, and Diablo Cody ("Juno") revised it. 
  14. ^ Fritz, Ben (November 23, 2010). "Movie projector: 'Harry Potter' to rule again as four new movies open, three competing for women". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Christina Aguilera "Soundtrack and Poster Bundle" @ Burlesque Global Store". Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  16. ^ Sciarretto, Amy (November 1, 2010). Burlesque" Soundtrack Due Out November 22""". Artistdirect. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  17. ^ "url=". 
  18. ^ Gregory, Jason (December 16, 2010). "'"Rihanna, Christina Aguilera X Factor Performances Branded 'Porn. Gigwise. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Burlesque (2010)". Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b "Movie Burlesque - DVD Sales". Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Top Selling DVDs of 2011". Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Burlesque (2010)". Retrieved July 19, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Burlesque". Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Burlesque Reviews". Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  25. ^ Phillips, Michael (November 23, 2010). "Sometimes camp is not enough". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  26. ^ Hall, Sandra (January 14, 2011). "Burlesque". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  27. ^ LeSalle, Mike (November 24, 2010). Burlesque' review: Aguilera takes off"'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  28. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (November 18, 2010). "Burlesque -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 12, 2012.  (subscription required)
  29. ^ Lumenick, Lou (November 23, 2010). "Christina learns how to Cher". New York Post. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  30. ^ Schwarzbaum, Lisa (November 24, 2010). "Burlesque Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  31. ^ O'Hara, Helen. "Empire's Burlesque Movie Review". Empire. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  32. ^ Uhlich, Keith (November 23, 2010). "Burlesque (PG-13)". Time Out. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  33. ^ Ebert, Roger (November 23, 2010). "Burlesque Movie Review & Film Summary (2010)". Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  34. ^ Debruge, Peter (November 18, 2010). """Review: "Burlesque. Variety. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  35. ^ Dargis, Manohla (November 23, 2010). Burlesque,' With Cher and Christina Aguilera – Review"'". The New York Times. 
  36. ^ Gray, Brandon (November 29, 2010). "Weekend Report: 'Harry Potter,' 'Tangled' Tower Over Thanksgiving Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  37. ^ Gray, Brandon (December 6, 2010). "'"Weekend Report: 'Tangled' Takes Reins from 'Potter. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  38. ^ Tomasi, Rollo (January 19, 2011). "Dorian Awards 2010: Winners: I AM LOVE, GLEE, EASY A". Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  39. ^ Brevet, Brad (January 21, 2011). Inception' and 'Black Swan' Lead Sound Editors 2011 Nominations"'". Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  40. ^ "The Japan Gold Disc Award 2012" (in Japanese). Retrieved May 12, 2013. 

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