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Quick Takes: Ripley's nabs Michael Jackson art

August 03, 2011

The huge Michael Jackson portrait that Sunland artist Seaton Brown created from 1,680 empty soda cans, calling it "A Tribute to the King of Pop," has reached its logical destination.

Brown said he recently sold the 144-square-foot work to Ripley Entertainment, which operates a chain of 31 Ripley's Believe It or Not! museums in 10 countries, including the one in Hollywood.

Brown said the work fetched a not-quite-kingly $7,500 — enough, however, to cover the $1,000 he spent on raw materials (including about $600 worth of soda pop that he poured down the drain) and earn him a decent wage for the five solid weeks he spent creating it about a year and a half ago.

Edward Meyer, in charge of exhibits and archives for Ripley, which is based in Orlando, Fla., said Tuesday that plans call for installing "A Tribute to the King of Pop" in the Hollywood museum in November.

—Mike Boehm

A high five for 'Teenage Dream'

Katy Perry continues her hit-filled year, on track to notch her fifth No. 1 single from the platinum-selling "Teenage Dream."

With current single "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" set to hit the No. 1 spot on Billboard's pop chart, according to the Nielsen BDS-based pop radio-airplay ranking, the singer's sophomore effort is the first album in the more than 15-year history of the Adult Top 40 mainstream chart to log that many No. 1 singles.

"Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" joins the Kanye West-assisted "E.T.," "Firework," "California Gurls," featuring Snoop Dogg, and the title track, which was ranked the fourth-best single of 2010 by Rolling Stone.

—Gerrick D. Kennedy

Halperin heads back to MSNBC

MSNBC is reinstating political analyst Mark Halperin this week, a month after he was suspended for an off-color remark about President Obama.

Halperin, a Time magazine editor at large, will return to "Morning Joe" on Wednesday, MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said.

—Associated Press

Peace prize goes to Kingsolver

Novelist Barbara Kingsolver will be presented this year with the newly renamed Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award by the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

First awarded in 2006 and based on the peace accords drawn up in Dayton, Ohio, to end the war in Bosnia, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize is presented to draw attention to works of literature that expand understanding of other peoples and cultures.

Studs Terkel, Geraldine Brooks and Elie Wiesel are previous recipients of the award, now named for Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. diplomat who was essential in negotiating the Dayton Peace Accords and who died in December.

Kingsolver, whose novels include "The Poisonwood Bible," "The Lacuna" and "Pigs in Heaven," will receive the award in Dayton on Nov. 13.

—Carolyn Kellogg

Fishburne to be Clark Kent's boss

Laurence Fishburne is going to Metropolis.

The Oscar-nominated actor will join the cast of "Man of Steel" in the role of Perry White, the abrasive, ever-ethical old-school newsman who lords over the newsroom of the Daily Planet.

The film, now scheduled for 2013, will be directed by Zack Snyder and will feature Henry Cavill as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane.

Fishburne, 50, is the first African American to take on the role of White in any of the many film, television or cartoon versions of Superman's adventures. Last year was the 70th anniversary of the newsroom character.

—Geoff Boucher

Suit filed over Grammys cut

Some Latin jazz musicians have filed a class-action lawsuit against the organization that gives out the Grammy Awards, accusing the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of harming them by eliminating their genre as a separate category in next year's awards.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, calls for the Latin jazz album category to be reinstated.

The plaintiffs include musicians Bobby Sanabria and Mark Levine.

In a statement, the academy said it "believes this frivolous lawsuit is without merit, and we fully expect to prevail."

—Associated Press

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