40 Best African Straight-Up Hairstyles for Black Ladies

Straight-up hairstyles are quite common among African ladies. In the Nigerian context, this hairstyle is referred to as Shuku and it comes in several variants. However, there are a few general rules for making Shuku. A hairstylist who is experienced in the field would divide the entire hair into four quadrants; starting from the center of the forehead, the hair is partitioned down to the middle of the neck at the back to get two equal halves. The quadrant will be achieved by dividing the halves from ear to ear and at the end, the four will all converge at the middle. You make your Shuku hairstyle by dividing each quadrant into smaller sizes depending on how small or how big you want it and then weave. Updo hairstyles would fit any shape of face – round, oblong, short depending on the style, you decide to go for.

For this piece, we have rounded out 40 straight-up hairstyles from the black continent of Africa. Some of these hairdos appear simple and can be worn for casual outings but there are many that we deem fit for occasions and events.

Straight-Up Hairstyles For Natural Hair

Making of hair must not always involve the use of attachments or hair extensions as there are people who love to weave their hair naturally without going through the stress of adding an extension. These kinds of hairdos are for comfort and can be worn in very hot weather, especially if the wearer doesn’t want to have any hair strands touching their face or neck. Below are some really comfy hairstyles made with natural hair both for adults and children.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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The hairstyle in the picture above would suit anybody that just wants to relax at home and feel comfy. Those on holiday or annual leave may decide to go for this style to give themselves a break from all the complicated hairstyles that are demanded of them in a corporate environment. This hairdo does not require hair extension, just partition the strands into sizeable rows as explained above and weave the normal way. An expert can even DIY the style, thanks to its simplicity but the only downside to the hairdo is that it does not last. Favoring the style means that the wearer needs to be changing it within short intervals or it may end up looking rough.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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The difference between this hairstyle and the one above is that the rows of this straight-up hairstyle did not converge at the center, rather it is tilted towards the front part of the skull. This leaves the short ponytail high up in the air. Also notable is the fact that the weaving is not done in the normal way rather it comes in the inverted fashion but the tips for the two are exactly the same. It is believed that the inverted style which is known as Didi in the Nigerian context lasts longer than the normal weaving; this is why it is favored by many it.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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The Didi hairstyle is known for making hair appear neater, especially when the hair has been treated with a relaxer. The style in the picture is a slight shift from the normal way of partitioning straight-up hairstyles. Instead of dividing the rows in a straight line, the stylist decided to do it in a slanting fashion. From one side of the ear, it goes round through the back of the skull, and at the end, the ponytail converges at the frontal part of the skull as against the middle.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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Now, this is another pattern of making Didi, the stylist employed creativity in partitioning the hair in a circular pattern. The first row started from the front of the left ear while others started in the middle or at the sides. In the end, the ponytail is brought together at the middle, and needle and thread are used in stitching it together rather than leaving it loose. There is also the extensive use of “brush”. The first two rows were brushed down towards the front while the others are brushed up towards the middle.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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The hairstyle in the picture is all about creativity as it cannot be made by just anybody. To perfect this pattern of hairdo, one would need to employ the services of an expert since the style is really complicated. Not only the heavy “brush”, the Didi that is evident in both the front and the middle but there are also smaller rows without brush made in the normal weaving style. The partitioning is even more intricate like in a zigzag pattern and the ponytail is stitched together towards the back of the head.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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This hairdo seems to be partitioned in the normal way but each row is further divided into two and weaved in the inverted fashion facing each other. This Didi style weaving is given a slight brush at both sides but what makes the hairdo very distinguished is the fact that the sub-divisions in each row are crossed towards the middle, giving it an entirely different look altogether. The stitching at the top adds to its overall beauty and the wearer enjoys a lot of comfort with the style.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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A hairstylist can be very creative in making straight-up hairstyles and children are not left out. You can give your daughter a beautiful look with this double Shuku hairdo Instead of having single rows from the front to the middle to converge at a single center, the converging point is divided into two – one towards the front of the skull and the other towards the back. The rows of the front updo are slanted towards the sides from the middle of the forehead. The back updo is also a bit slanted and each converging point is rolled into a doughnut and stitched together to make it last longer.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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This hairdo is just like the one in the previous picture but instead of the front and back pattern, the two Shuku are positioned side by side but the style is exactly the same. there is evidence of slanting and the ponytails are also wrapped in doughnut style. The styles are popular among girls of primary school age who need to make beautiful hairdos without having to make extensive use of attachments

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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This straight-up hairstyle comes in a Mohawk-like pattern with a wild top sporting a tumble of curls. The short cornrows which go round from the beginning of the forehead down the back of the neck to the other side of the face are in mismatch sizes. One big row precedes two smaller ones, but the front of the head is left free where the curls will fall. The tails of the cornrows are all gathered at the up and weaved into one big line and left on one side of the face. The hairstyle is best done after the wearer just washed and rolled her hair to make the curls available for the finishing and it works best on short natural relaxed hair. The end result is very cute and styling it is relatively easy since the curls are meant to fall in a singular direction.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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While the hair in the previous picture is weaved, this one is twisted but they have a lot of similarities. The cornrows are a bit slanted to give it a different look and rather than leaving the top in curls, it is gathered in very large twists, making it appear as if it is fluffed. The style may not stay very long because of its fluffy nature but while it lasts, the wearer can take it to anywhere – office, dinner date, events, wedding, and it can be worn casually when you need to just get a comfortable hairdo. The reason for this is that all the strands of hair are neatly tucked-in and you would hardly experience any escaping strand touching your face or neck.

Straight-Up Hairstyles For Short Hair

It is true that ladies with long hair go for the straight-up hairstyles for comfort as it packs up the whole hair into one or two ponytails that hardly get in the way. However, those with short hair can also find one or two updo styles that will suit their hair length even without attachments. Besides, these kinds of hairstyles are equally made with natural hair.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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For the style in the picture above, the makings are quite simple. Made just with the wearer’s hair which is on the short side, the rows occur in mismatched sizes and they did not all start from the frontline. One starts from the front followed by another that starts halfway. The rows are not straight but slanted and everything is gathered towards the middle of the skull. No ponytail is visible because of the wearer’s short hair but the top has the appearance of a small-sized cap.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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Also made with natural hair, this updo is in a straight cornrow pattern. The rows are in equal sizes and go round the entire head with each stopping midway to the top of the skull. The stylist joins the end of three rows together and ties them into a round knot, repeating the pattern throughout the hair, the remaining stands in the middle will receive the same knotting treatment until they will be all gathered up in uniform knots.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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This is another befitting updo for ladies with short hair. The major partition is visible on the right side of the face with the rows on the left longer than those on the right. The reason for this is that the left rows are done in a zig-zag fashion, slanting towards the left at the beginning and changing course to shift towards the right at the end. The rows on the right are equally slanted but not as much as the left. The rows stop midway, forming tiny curls towards the middle.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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The choice of hairstyles for short-haired people is quite much. These slanted rows are gathered almost at the frontal part of the skull but there are tiny rows in the frontline that set the short ponytail a bit back and the overflow falls across the face. Another unique feature of this updo is that the rows are twisted as opposed to weaving and the ponytail is given the same treatment.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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The image above sports a curved updo divided into three major partitions on both left and right. At the converging point which is a bit wider than what you would normally see with the regular shuku hairstyle, the stylist left the tip of the short hair loose to form the rough curls on top. The curls are allowed to fly free and tumble in different directions.

Straight up Braids Hairstyles

Making straight-up hairstyles with natural hair is quite lovely and it makes for comfort, however, when we are up to carrying long hair extensions for updos, then, the straight upbraids can suffice. One good aspect of this hair pattern is that you can wear them long when the weather is conducive enough or roll the ponytail up into a doughnut at the top of the head to avoid discomfort, especially in hot weather.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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The picture above shows slanted rows on the left and right made in the normal pattern of Shuku hairstyle with everything gathered at the mid-skull, the ponytail is left to fall towards the back. There is a mid frontal partition slanted for a better effect, the ponytail is smoothened by applying heat and the tip will be dipped into boiling water to relax it. At the end of the day, all the braids will be gathered and packed with a rubber band. To make this style, you will need to buy a long hair extension that can get to the level you desire – shoulder-length, hip-length, mid-back, and so on.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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The uniqueness of this style is in the way it is partitioned, obviously, the wearer would need to retouch her hair with a relaxer prior to making it; this will help in giving it that smooth appearance. Though it may look like the Didi hairdo, this straight-up hairstyle is made with regular weaving. The entire rows on the head may not be up to ten as they are divided to be very big, then the weaving is done in such a way that there will be neat lines between each weave – giving it an entirely different look. After treating the ponytail with hot water to make it smooth, one of the braids will be taken to serve as a band holding the rest. The most attractive part of this updo is the baby hairs in front that are smoothened to the scalp with gel and toothbrush.

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Straight Up Hairstyles

Now, this hairdo is the real definition of a complicated style, and ladies who desire to make it must employ the services of an expert stylist. The slanted rows in the front are gathered in a double-decked knot at the top of the head, but the intricacies in the makings of the back hair are one that can only be understood by an expert. On each side, two rows move towards the middle, dividing the remaining back hair into two equal parts. The other rows are made to move in the same direction but the first and last ones are somewhat curved. The ponytail for the back hair is left to fall free rather than holding it with a band, but it must be first smoothened with hot water.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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The uniqueness of this style is in the brown hue that is infused in its making. Slanted rows on each side that took off from a major partition towards the right side of the face. The partition stops midway and the remaining hair is weaved up to meet the others at the middle of the skull. You will need a very long hair extension for this updo to make a long ponytail which will be folded on top to form a doughnut. The brown hue which is only infused at the tip will now give the finishing touch to the doughnut as it appears in two colors – brown and black.

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Straight Up Hairstyles

This updo is similar to the one above except for the fact the stylish partition and slanting are not evident, The rows are all done in a straight line to converge at the middle and the long hair extension used in the making will make it possible for the wearer to make a large double-decked doughnut out of the ponytail. Any baby hairs in the frontline will be flattened with gel and brush as finishing.

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Straight Up Hairstyles

This straight-up hairstyle does not just have a major partition in front, there is a corresponding one at the back towards the middle of the neck. The rows appear slanted, though the slanting is not pronounced. In the end, the ponytail is gathered at the middle using one of the braids as a band. A large quantity of hair extension goes into the making of this hairdo and it is strictly for ladies that can carry the weight and those that wouldn’t mind the long braids getting in the way.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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Updos are one of the simplest patterns of hair you can make and for the style in the picture, the procedure is quite easy and take just a short amount of time. All the rows are straight up, one big row followed by a smaller one. Everything goes towards the middle of the skull, slightly to the front, and is gathered in a large doughnut for comfort.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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Updos can be made in a plethora of patterns, straight rows, slanted rows, and the fishbone. While the first two are relatively easy, making the fishbone-style is a big challenge. The pattern of the hair makes it look exactly like a fishbone with one very big weaving lying vertically in the middle, surrounded by tiny vertical smaller weavings. For the style in the picture, it is only the middle row that has vertical weavings on both sides, other rows have them on only one side. The ponytail at the middle is quite unique as it is twisted rather than braided. This hairdo can be worn according to choice – rolled into a huge doughnut or left to fly loose.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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The one in this picture is very similar to the previous one. The only notable difference is that it is made in pure braids as opposed to twists. Also remarkable is the presence of baby hairs that are flattened to the skull with gell to add to its overall beauty. While the previous picture appears longer and fuller, this one has just a few big braids in the middle which are a bit short

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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They say fishbone styles are the most complicated hairdos to make and looking at the style in this picture, one can’t help but agree. The mid fishbone in the back is bounded by smaller branches of the fishbone in a complicated style; each side comes with a central partition that opens on either side of the next two rows. The smaller fishbones are now gathered to meet the bigger one on the middle of the back and everything is taken up to the top of the skull. Variations of this complication are visible in the other rows on the sides and the front and at the end, the ensuing ponytail will be in big braids that can be either rolled up or left free.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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This updo is curved at the frontline, straight towards the middle and rather than one converging point, the ponytail is divided into two equal parts to make two beautiful doughnuts at the top. Though it looks more like what you would see on little girls, it is quite becoming on grown-up ladies and can be worn to the office, school, events, and occasions.

Big Straight Up Hairstyles

One thing about big straight-up hairstyles is that the wearer doesn’t need to spend time in making them and they are quite easy to make. However, their big size is a good indication that the hairdo is not meant to last very long.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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To make the hairdo in the picture, the entire hair can be sectioned into seven large rows or eight and weaved to converge at the center. However, a special touch is given to this updo with single tiny rows partitioning the hair into two. The ensuing ponytail may be scanty because of its large size, but when it is rolled up into a doughnut, it appears very huge. The flattened baby hairs give the wearer a beautiful look and you can continue refreshing the frontline with additional gel and a small brush.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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This big straight-up hairdo is made in the inverted weaving pattern or Didi. Just partition the hair into the desired number of rows and weave up using the Didi style. The knot at the top is quite big which means that the hair extension used is very long.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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This is another big straight-up hairdo in an inverted weaving style. To make this kind of puffed-up Didi, the stylist will need to cut and weave some attachments individually. When you section a row to weave, divide it into two equal parts and infuse the already weaved attachment in the middle then cover with the wearer’s natural hair as you weave. This is where the puffed-up appearance comes from. This big updo comes with some embellishments – while the puffed-up rows which are slanted start from the frontline, there are smaller rows that started midway as they all converge at mid-skull slightly towards the back. From the look of things, the ponytail is made with another color of attachment which is knotted on top.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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This is as simple as big updos go – straight rows converging at the center of the skull and tied together with a band. The highlight of this hair is in the length of the ponytail which is remarkably long. The wearer can make it long or short depending on choice.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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For this slanted big updo, there is evidence of a big brush on both sides and all the frontal rows took off from the same spot at the left corner of the face. The brush makes the wearer’s eyes a bit more pronounced as it tidies up all the hair strands and the makeup on the face will be very noticeable. For the style in the picture, the stylist introduced some smaller rows to complement the larger rows and everything falls in a long ponytail at the center of the skull. This straight-up hairstyle is rather stylish and can admit the wearer into any event, date night out, office, occasions, and the likes.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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Though big straight-up braids are not likely to last very long, they are sure to give the wearer a bold look. The updo in this image is quite simple – very few big rows gathered up at the top and instead of weaving the tip till the end, an unwoven hair extension is used in creating the semblance of a doughnut which is stitched to the rows with needle and thread to make it firm.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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It feels quite good to rock that bold look that only a big updo can give, but you can get more out of it when you go the extra mile of embellishing it with beads and clips. The image above sports the normal straight-up hairstyle with very large rows tied up in a knot which on its own is good enough. However, the stylist decided to embellish it with an attractive finishing in the form of metal silver clips on both the rows and the ponytail which is quite long. Now, the best effect of this style will become obvious when the wearer goes under the sun or comes into a lighted room at night. The clips will come alive, giving the hairdo an entirely different look altogether.

Thin Straight Up Hairstyles

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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Thin straight-up hairstyles can come in any pattern, the only distinguishing feature of this style of hairdo is that the rows are usually very thin. This simple style is sectioned into thin rows, slanted at the beginning but straight towards the middle till it gets to the converging point where it is packed up with a band. The front is decorated with flattened baby hairs while the extra-long ponytail falls towards the middle of the back. The curvy center slit is what distinguished this hairdo from the next one

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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This straight-up hairstyle does not have that curvy center slit as all the rows go up in a straight line, albeit a bit slanted at the frontline. We must acknowledge the hue of brown extension that is evident in three rows on one side. A potential wearer can choose to go for any color depending on the tone of their skin. This thin straight-up hairstyle equally sports a long ponytail like the one above.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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This style is also sectioned in thing straight rows and at the end, the overflow is smoothened with hot water and rolled up in a tight knot at the top. The style is considered apt for short ladies as it gives them additional height.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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Another beautiful thin updo for shorter ladies that sports a unique style at the back. The rows in this shuku hairstyle are curvy and slanted with an asymmetrical line running from one side of the neck up to the center. Most of the rows started from the partitioning line and spread out and upwards while several others are curved from the back of the neck and the frontline.

Cornrow Straight Up Hairstyles

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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The truth remains that all straight-up hairstyles occur in cornrows and we have a few examples.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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These are neat straight cornrows in an updo pattern parked with a fine already made breaded attachment and stitched with needle and thread.

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Straight Up Hairstyles
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Another neat cornrow but with the pattern visibly slanted.

Chacha O
Chacha is a writer with a wealth of experience who has contributed across several channels. Her specialty includes celebrity lifestyle including how top movie stars, musicians, and comedians live their lives.

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