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Quick Takes: Lady Gaga hatches a hit

February 19, 2011

Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" has become the fastest-selling single ever on Apple's iTunes store worldwide, racking up more than 1 million downloads in five days, Apple said Friday.

Apple said the song — a Madonna-influenced dance track that the 24-year-old singer performed after "hatching" from a giant egg at the Grammy Awards — had hit the No. 1 spot on iTunes in 23 countries.

"Born This Way," the title track of a new album to be released in May, also went straight to the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles charts earlier this week.

—Reuters

If it's a Banksy, it will rise again

One of the several new works believed to be by British graffiti artist Banksy around Los Angeles was removed from a Sunset Strip billboard. But it's likely to pop up again in Las Vegas.

An inebriated Mickey and Minnie Mouse were painted on a billboard advertisement for the Light Group, a Las Vegas company managing restaurants and clubs in casinos. The billboard was removed Wednesday night because the company that owns the billboard, CBS Outdoors, said the vandalized sign didn't meet its standards.

But spokeswoman Beth Bartolini said Light Group "thought it was really flattering" that the street artist apparently chose its advertisement for his latest work. In fact, the Light Group plans on resurrecting the piece. Company founder and owner Andrew Sasson is looking for a place large enough to display the art, most likely in one of his Vegas properties.

—Nicole Sperling

Kobe Bryant on the big screen

Robert Rodriguez's "The Black Mamba" Nike short that features the eclectic ensemble of Kobe Bryant, Kanye West and Danny Trejo will be screened in an unlikely place: a movie theater.

Starting Saturday and continuing for a week, the six-minute film will be played before PG-13- or R-rated movies at the seven Mann Theatres in Los Angeles and a dozen other theaters in the Southland.

The screening is part of an effort to tap into Lakers fandom — it's playing only in Southern California — as well as into All-Star weekend festivities at the Staples Center through Sunday.

—Steven Zeitchik

Lawsuits dog Jackson estate

Court documents show Michael Jackson's estate has earned more than $310 million since the singer's death but is still dealing with lawsuits and financial disputes.

According to a filing in the singer's probate case, Jackson died with more than $400 million in debt.

The filing reported the income, and more than $159 million in spending, for the period between Jackson's death in June 2009 and December 2010.

The estate's filing states it is negotiating settlements for several lawsuits.

Estate administrators have restructured much of Jackson's debt and negotiated deals for video games, new albums and a movie using rehearsal footage from Jackson's last concert.

—Associated Press

TV miners kill bear, face probe

In one of the first episodes of Discovery Channel's "Gold Rush: Alaska," miners hoping to strike gold killed a bear. And now the Alaska Department of Natural Resources says the killing was unwarranted, even though the shooter had the proper licenses to do so.

As more than 2 million viewers saw in the episode, a bear may have been lured into the camp in southeast Alaska by unattended graham crackers. But the state claimed that the bear that was killed wasn't the same bear that viewers saw entering the camp, and it was killed outside the campsite, according to the Anchorage Daily News. State officials told those involved with the show that they should act with more restraint and should properly store food to avoid attracting bears.

—Associated Press

Finally

Early Radiohead: Radiohead surprised fans by releasing its new album "The King of Limbs" on Friday, a day early, with a total of eight tracks clocking in at a short 37 minutes and earning mild critical acclaim.

Alderman Rhymefest? The Grammy-winning rapper is running an unorthodox campaign for City Council in a year that promises major changes in Chicago politics. With as many as 10 aldermen retiring, experts say his prospects are decent.

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