The Monkees land in Japan for a tour in 1968: from left, Jones, Mike Nesmith (behind Jones), Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz

Davy Jones: Actor and singer who shot to worldwide fame as a teen idol with the Monkees

Davy Jones was the young actor who most enjoyed and best understood the phenomenon of the Monkees that shot him to fame in the Sixties. Blessed with a great sense of humour and charming personality, he was better able to cope with fame and adulation than many of his contemporaries.

Jones was born in Manchester in 1945

End of a daydream: Monkees frontman Davy Jones dies

Davy Jones, the lead singer of 1960s pop band The Monkees, has died in America.

Whitney Houston: Superstar of music and film who was ravaged by drug use

Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died. She was 48.

Madonna at the Super Bowl

Papa don't preach: Fortysomething women still rock

Madonna's Super Bowl show has drawn criticism for nothing other than the material girl's age. Fiona Sturges is indignant

Album: The Big Pink, Future This (4AD)

Naming your band after one of the all-time great albums is quite a yoke to saddle yourself with, and The Big Pink are making heavy weather of it on Future This.

Album: Carole King, A Christmas Carole (Hear Music)

There's an inter-denominational inclusivity theme to Carole King's seasonal offering. The star turn is "Chanukah Prayer", a haunting, jazz-inflected Jewish hymn on which she's joined by her daughter Louise Goffin (who also produced the album) and grandson Hayden Wells.

The best of pluck: less is more for Laura Marling

Why rock and pop stars should end on a high note

Laura Marling has dropped the obligatory encore. Other acts should too, says Elisa Bray

The Book of Deadly Animals, By Gordon Grice

The world swarms with dangerous beasts that, given the opportunity, will have you for lunch. Lions like to seize you by the throat and shake you as a dog shakes a rat. Leopards prefer to jump on you in the dark and dispatch you with a single bite to the back of the head. Hyenas use their powerful jaws to take chunks off you as you run away. Crocs, on the other hand, roll you in the water and shake you until bits fall off.

Patrick Strudwick: How rebellion became suburban

Today our prawn cocktail culture holds up Lady Gaga as the cutting edge

Album: Charlene Soraia, Moonchild (Peacefrog)

Pastoral English psychedelicism has a long and curly reach.

Battle songs: The Somme

Requiem for an art form: Why modern composers are fighting a losing battle

War has always inspired great music, says Jessica Duchen, but since 9/11 classical has fallen behind pop in a world racked by conflict

Proud but not vain: Tinie Tempah

Tinie Tempah, O2 Arena, London

I heard people close to Tinie Tempah talk passionately about how his appeal and personal qualities were part of a Britain that went beyond race, long before he had really broken through. The 22,000 around me at his first arena show are that universal audience, united in thrilling fervour as he's crowned a pop king.

Album: David Lynch, Crazy Clown Time (Sunday Best)

Second only to Quentin Tarantino, Lynch has always been a highly music-conscious director, from the Lady in the Radiator in Eraserhead through Roy Orbison in Blue Velvet and the Elvis tropes of Wild at Heart to Marilyn Manson's work for The Lost Highway.

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'In The X Factor's land of musical mediocrity, Louis Walsh’s weirdness is the only oasis of intrigue'

Who knew that Louis Walsh says, "The best thing about The X Factor is it's real... nothing is staged"? Blessings upon him, for of course the best thing about The X Factor in its present manifestation – and who knew such words would ever appear in print? – is Louis Walsh.

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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

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Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
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Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
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Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
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Education: Secret of Taunton's success

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Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

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