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Haters can say it’s fake, but Justin Timberlake has No. 1 album

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Justin Timberlake snagged the No.1 Spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart with “Man of the Woods,” despite harsh reviews and a Super Bowl halftime show that was deemed underwhelming on social media and by music critics.

“Man of the Woods,” Timberlake’s first studio album since 2013, sold more than 242,000 units in its first week of release, according to Nielsen Music data released on Monday.

The Billboard 200 chart tallies units from album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album).

“Man of the Woods” marks Timberlake’s fourth Billboard No.1 album and was the biggest-selling album in the U.S. since Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” in December 2017, Billboard said.

It debuted at No.1 after a Feb. 4 Super Bowl performance consisting mostly of Timberlake’s old hits that also featured a controversial segment featuring a huge projection of Prince, who died in 2016.

The former NSYNC singer also took heat on social media for failing to mention, or perform with, Janet Jackson after an infamous 2004 Super Bowl appearance which ended with Timberlake ripping off Jackson’s top and accidentally briefly exposing her breast.

Nevertheless, the Super Bowl and halftime show were watched by some 103 million Americans on television. Nielsen Music reported last week that on-demand audio and video streams for all of the songs performed by Timberlake jumped 45 percent on the day after the game, compared to the day before.

Timberlake, best known for pop tracks like “SexyBack” and “Rock Your Body,” promoted “Man of the Woods” as a country-inspired album that took him back to his Memphis roots.

But the album had few fans among music reviewers. Esquire called it “disappointing” and “kind of embarrassing,” while USA Today said the album “can’t pull off its Americana-pop fusion.”

On the digital Billboard songs chart, which measures online single sales, Timberlake had three songs in the top 20 – “Say Something” featuring Chris Stapleton, “Man of the Woods,” and his 2016 hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Canadian rapper Drake took the top spot with “God’s Plan,” with more than 55,00 units sold.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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Pop Culture

Fans of Mac Miller Held Emotional Vigil at Park He Named His First Album After

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Mac Miller passed away on Sept. 7 of a reported overdose and was pronounced dead at his Studio City, California home. He was 26 years old. But his hometown of Pittsburgh honored the late rapper with a touching public vigil Tuesday. Thousands showed up to Frick Blue Slide Park, which inspired the title of Miller’s 2011 debut album, Blue Slide Park.

“It was an emotional night,” said Jamie Byron after attending the vigil. Fans decorated the park with art, flowers and candles.

Byron, who at 25 is just one year younger than Miller, told Better than the Weekend he started listening to the late rapper as a freshman in college. Miller’s first album became the soundtrack to his first year of college.

“My roommate and I would listen to Blue Slide Park every day freshman year. It was in the background when we’d do homework, just chill, or get ready to go out,” said Byron. “Going through college is a weird time, and Mac’s music made sense to us because he was our age and from our city, so it felt good to hear.

Fans sang along to Miller’s music for hours. Chants of “412” which is the area code of Pittsburgh and “Thank you, Mac” circulated throughout the night, said Byron.

Byron said he had chills when the DJ stopped for the night and the crowd just broke into “Frick Park Market” for one last moment of honor.

RIP, Mac.

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This NBA Star Is Going to Harvard

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Oh, back to school. Back to school — to prove to dad he’s not a fool. Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving is going back to school — and he’s going to Harvard.

Irving is headlining the newest group of athletes to enroll in a Harvard Business School course called “Crossover Into Business,” aimed at helping sports stars maximize their earning potential during and after their playing careers. The baller is joined in the class by Denver Nuggets power forward Paul Millsap and former NFL tight end Martellus Bennett, among others. Longtime NBA forwards Chris Boshand Caron Butler previously completed the program, per Boston.com.

In June, Boston.com asked Irving about his interests away from the basketball court.

“I feel like if I had the same amount of time that I was afforded [for basketball] to learn about business and investments, I think I’d probably be in a pretty different place,” he said. “You just gotta learn as best you can on your own time.”

Taking a course at Harvard is a solid step in that process.

At the same time, Irving is working back from knee surgery that forced him to miss the latter stages of the 2017-18 season, including the playoffs.

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Paul McCartney Says He Masturbated with John Lennon (No, Really)

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I’ll never be able to listen to the line: “I get my with a little help from my friends” the same way again.

Paul McCartney regaled writer Chris Heath in GQ with a story about how he, John Lennon and some of their friends masturbated together before the pair became world-famous members of the Beatles.

McCartney told GQ: “What it was was over at John’s house, and it was just a group of us. And instead of just getting roaring drunk and partying—I don’t even know if we were staying over or anything—we were all just in these chairs, and the lights were out, and somebody started masturbating, so we all did.”

When asked if the “ritual” took place more than once, McCartney said: “I think it was a one-off. Or maybe it was like a two-off. It wasn’t a big thing. But, you know, it was just the kind of thing you didn’t think much of. It was just a group.”

“Yeah, it’s quite raunchy when you think about it,” he acknowledged. “There’s so many things like that from when you’re a kid that you look back on and you’re, ‘Did we do that?’ But it was good harmless fun. It didn’t hurt anyone. Not even Brigitte Bardot.”

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