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Billboard Changes Chart Bundle Rules

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Billboard has once more changed their rules about chart placement. As music consumption and distribution constantly evolve, so do our metrics of counting what music sales amount to. In recent times, two major factors have shifted how we tally music sales: streaming, and bundling practices. In November, Billboard altered their rules about how merch bundles would be counted. And now, they’ve updated the rules again.

Billboard explained its previous changes with a new take: “In an acknowledgement that those measures have fallen short of the intended goal of accurately reflecting consumer intent — has decided to eliminate the practice of counting albums bundled with merchandise and concert tickets on its album and song charts altogether.”

Naturally, there have been a ton of methods to game the charts system over the decades, the bundle method only being the most recent one. Basically, Billboard’s new rules forbid bundling an album as a freebie with all the other stuff. An added stipulation is that physical albums that are bundled with digital downloads will no longer be counted as digital sales — only when the physical item is shipped will it count towards Billboard’s official tallies. Billboard has not announced the start date of their new rules.

Bundles have been a major factor in the charts in recent years. Virtually every legacy artist who can sell concert tickets has leveraged fans’ interest in seeing them live into higher chart placement on the Billboard 200 and other album charts by bundling album sales with tickets, from indie rockers like Arcade Fire to pop stars like Lady Gaga. (One notable exception was the Black Keys, who made a point of not doing it.) Travis Scott famously sent Astroworld back to #1 months after its initial release by selling downloads of the album as part of a new round of merch bundles Cyber Monday. Bundling strategies devolved to the point that DJ Khaled attempted to bundle his album with energy drinks last year, a promotion Billboard refused to count toward his sales figures, much to Khaled’s chagrin.

Bundles have also impacted the Hot 100 singles chart; most recently 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj’s “TROLLZ” debuted at #1 largely due to unusually high sales figures fueled by a number of merch bundles in each artist’s webstore; the song plummeted to #34 in its second week.

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Alyssa Milano experiencing hair loss after positive COVID-19 antibodies test

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Alyssa Milano recently revealed she was hospitalized and is experiencing hair loss days after she said she tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.

On Friday, Milano, 47, posted a selfie while wearing a mask on a hospital bed.

“I was acutely sick w/ Covid19 in April. I still have many symptoms,” the actress captioned her post. “I am what they call a ‘long hauler.’”

The “Sorry Not Sorry” podcast host continued: “Last night, I had real heaviness in my chest. I went to the ER just to make sure it wasn’t a blood clot. Thankfully, it wasn’t.”

“This virus sucks,” the “Desperate Housewives” alum captioned the post. “Please take it seriously.”

On Sunday, Milano revealed she was experiencing hair loss.

The actress posted a video of her brushing her hair with a clean brush after washing her tresses. After a few brushes, her hair started to come out in heavy volume.

“Thought I’d show you what #Covid19 does to your hair,” Milano said. “Please take this seriously.”

The “Charmed” alum recently opened up about her health journey that resulted in a positive coronavirus antibodies test.

Milano posted a screenshot on Wednesday of her data, as well as a photo of herself using a breathing machine while she was sick in April.

“This was me on April 2nd after being sick for 2 weeks. I had never been this kind of sick,” Milano shared. “Everything hurt. Loss of smell. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t keep food in me. I lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks. I was confused. Low grade fever. And the headaches were horrible. I basically had every Covid symptom.”

She said that she was tested for coronavirus twice in March, but both tests came back negative.

Additionally, once she was feeling better, she took a finger-prick test to determine whether she had the antibodies that often occur in those that have fought off the virus, but again received negative results.

“After living the last 4 months with lingering symptoms like, vertigo, stomach abnormalities, irregular periods, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, zero short term memory, and general malaise, I went and got an antibody test from a blood draw (not the finger prick) from a lab,” she continued. “I am POSITIVE for covid antibodies. I had Covid19.”

Milano later responded to a fan’s tweet inquiring about how she got sick. The actress replied, “Traveling between Portland, NY and LA.”

Some people have accused the actress of “lying” about her positive antibodies diagnosis because she tested negative for the virus several times.

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Why would I f–king lie about having a virus?” Milano shot back at one person on Twitter on Friday.

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Counting On’s Lauren Duggar Reveals Labor Team Considered C-Section During Delivery With Baby No. 1

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Lauren Duggar (née Swanson) reflected on her delivery with baby No. 1 and revealed her labor team considered doing a C-section in a new teaser clip from the upcoming episode of Counting On. The reality star was joined by husband Josiah Duggar in the hospital room and he tried his best to keep her comforted. 

At the time, her contractions were happening eight minutes apart and she was around nine centimeters dilated, so doctors gave her Pitocin in hopes of her contractions occurring more frequently. The medication is often used to “induce” women, Lauren explained in TLC’s clip shared on Monday, August 10, but in this case — it was to help “finish out” her labor. 

Courtesy of Josiah and Lauren Duggar/Instagram

“We’re really hoping this works or Lauren will have to have a C-section,” Josiah said in the video. His mother, Michelle Duggar, was also there and she rooted on Lauren when the pain was at its worst. “You’ve done fabulous,” Michelle said. 

“You’re doing it, Lauren. You’re almost there,” Josiah’s sister Jill Duggar added in the background. After getting the dose of Pitocin, Lauren’s contractions got worse and the TV personality, 21, felt like she couldn’t do it “much longer.” 

“I just remember thinking, Lord protect this baby,” she said. Lauren had two epidurals and experienced major back pain during the delivery. Fortunately, the medicine helped dilate her enough so she could “start pushing.”

Lauren and Josiah, 23, welcomed their bundle of joy on November 8, 2019, just over one year after suffering a heartbreaking miscarriage. 

Jill Duggar Returns to 'Counting On' in Sister-in-Law Lauren Swanson's Birth Special
Courtesy of Josiah and Lauren Duggar/Instagram

“After a long and difficult labor, our girl arrived,” the couple previously told Us Weekly. “When we finally got to see and hold our precious Bella Milagro all the pain instantly went away. We can’t believe she is ours — she is so perfect!”

The lovebirds married in front of friends and family in 2018, and they are still going strong to this day. 

Back in June, they celebrated their 2-year wedding anniversary. “Two years ago, today, I had the privilege of marrying the love of my life! It seems like yesterday, that the most beautiful girl in the whole world was walking down the aisle to begin our lifelong journey together,” he gushed. “It was that, ‘you know, when you know,’ moment. I instantly knew, somehow, someday, you would be my wife.”

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Stephen Amell to star in new Starz wrestling series ‘Heels’

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Stephen Amell has joined the cast of a new Starz series about wrestling.

Deadline confirmed Monday the 38-year-old actor will star in the forthcoming drama “Heels.”

Starz ordered eight hour-long episodes of “Heels” after Amell signed on to the show. The series is written by Michael Waldron, with Mike O’Malley to serve as showrunner.

“Heels” takes its name from the heel, or the villain in wrestling storylines. The show examines the world of small town professional wrestling in a close-knit community in Georgia.

Amell will play Jack Spade, the charismatic villain of the Duffy Wrestling Association.

The character wars with his brother and rival as he strives to build the DWA into an empire.

Amell confirmed his casting by tweeting at real-life professional wrestler Cody Rhodes on Monday.

“Hey @CodyRhodes — wanna come and help me make a tv show?” the actor wrote.

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Amell plays the title character in The CW series “Arrow,” which will premiere its eighth and final season in October.

The CW series follows Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow, a character based on the DC Comics superhero.

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