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    Entertainers of the Year: Daft Punk

    Nine hours into October's Vegoose festival, the immortal five-note melody from Close Encounters of the Third Kind drifts out over the grassy field at Las Vegas' Sam Boyd Stadium, and the crowd of 30,000 is packed so tightly it can barely move. The night's headliners, Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, henceforth referred to by his nickname, Guy-Man), are led by roadies to a control booth in the middle of a 22-foot-wide, 18-foot-tall, three-ton steel pyramid hidden behind a curtain at center stage. They're decked out in their customary automaton-biker gear: face-obscuring helmets and leather jackets. As the curtain draws back, only their helmets and torsos are visible inside the pyramid, and blips of light pulse across blackness on the LED video screens covering its base.

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    Strength in Numbers

    Whose idea was it to get you guys together?KANYE WEST: It was their idea to come up with ["Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"] and my idea to sample it. Just the way the song was put together, especially at the end -- I've never accomplished that level of musicality. I think I've fallen short every time I've attempted to do something like it. But falling short of that is still way better than everything else in hip-hop. THOMAS BANGALTER: The challenge when you're taking a sample is to make it fi t your own universe. The interesting thing here is how he took our music and really made it his own in terms of his personality. That's what we're trying to do as artists -- make universal the things we want to express. That's what Kanye does. He distorts the initial meaning of the song, and that's what's interesting.

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