Album: Britney Spears, Circus, (Jive)

Send in the clowns: Britney's back on top

Album: Britney Spears, Circus (Zomba/Sony)

It's anybody's guess how two such high-profile pop acts as Take That and Britney Spears came to release albums with the same title on the same day – especially as neither bothers to develop the circus theme to any extent, save for Spears's claim to be "the ringleader" in her title track, the latest admission of her pathological desire to be the centre of attention ("all eyes on me in the centre of the ring, just like a circus") that made last year's Blackout such a grisly, charmless car-crash experience.

Britney brings world tour to UK

Britney Spears today announced her world tour will hit the UK - with the only European shows on the circuit.

Madonna divorce: Not a penny for the Guy?

Madonna and her film director husband Guy Ritchie are to be divorced tomorrow.

Katy Guest: Guy Ritchie and Madonna are to split but will we ever get the full story

Now, they are to divorce. Cue a frenzy of 'revelations'. The truth, though, is that no one else can really know what goes on behind closed doors.

Sarah Churchwell: Madonna, divorce, and the cost of turning into a commodity

People and relationships are increasingly transferable

Madonna and Ritchie confirm divorce

Pop star Madonna and her husband, the film director Guy Ritchie, confirmed today they are to divorce.

Britney Spears sex tape offered for sale

Britney Spears’ transformation from troubled starlet to credible pop icon took something of a detour today, with news that her ex-boyfriend is offering to sell a sex tape.

Stephen King: As Madonna and the banks know, when trust is lost it's time to say your prayers

What do a Madonna concert and a banking crisis have in common? Not much, you might think. But, as I sat through an excruciating performance of "Borderline" in Wembley Stadium on Thursday night, I realised that Madonna and mammon go together rather well. The common link is trust (or its loss).

The rebirth of Britney Spears

Gobbled up by her fame, rested in rehab. Has the hottest property in US pop got her life back on track?

Brand fails to conquer but Britney sweeps board at MTV awards

Britney Spears swept the board at MTV's Video Music Awards today, in an appearance that was hailed as a "resurrection" of her career.

Pandora: Guy's not talking Kabbalahs

Guy Ritchie hasn't been shy of late. Understandable, what with a new film out and his wife's world tour to promote. Still, there was one subject he was reluctant to discuss when chatting with Pandora: his erstwhile religion, Kabbalah.

Carola Long: Stop mocking Madonna

Weekend Arts: The pop star begins her British tour tonight. It's fashionable to knock her but, says Carola Long, her music, her fashions and her style helped an entire generation of women to grow up

Kabbalah is only thing saving Madonna's marriage, says brother

Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie are treated as the "uncrowned king and queen" of Kabbalah, the mystical form of Judaism, and their shared faith is largely what has kept their marriage together until now. So claims her estranged brother Christopher in his book Life With My Sister Madonna, which will be published tomorrow.

Pandora: A challenger who could teach Davis a thing or two about terror

The result of the by-election in Haltemprice and Howden on Thursday looks like a foregone conclusion, with David Davis expected to regain his seat with a sound majority.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
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Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

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