Arts and Entertainment Trailblazers: The Spice Girls in 1997

The Eurythmics star told the girls to 'ham up' their individual personalities

Mark Ravenhill and Michael Nyman - Take your seats for jazzed-up Monteverdi

Playwright Mark Ravenhill and composer Michael Nyman have given a new spin to a classic opera, discovers Nicola Christie

Women of the World, Royal Festival Hall, London

"Women of the world, take over," the whimsical Scots bard Ivor Cutler once urged, his advice taken last Friday at a concert featuring women performers from different strata of the musical spectrum.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Where are the men to help women fight their battles?

We must keep fighting until our half of the human race gets its proper share of the world – of dignity, respect, and rights

Annie Lennox: 'Women need to wake up. There's so much to do'

Pop's 56-year-old Diva sings less and less these days, but she's eager to take to the stage for a rash of feminist activities this week. Susie Mesure meets Annie Lennox

Grace Jones is a slave to the rhythm of postmodernism

Grace Jones's unconventionality obviously extends to her choice of maternity wear.

Clare Maguire, Bush Hall, London

Half-a-million MySpace hits is one modern route to the Cinderella story. It let Birmingham's Clare Maguire sign to a major label at the once unremarkable age of 20. Then she was led through music's corridors of power, drinking with Jay-Z, squired by Rick Rubin to Leonard Cohen's rehearsals, offered a song by an enchanted Jarvis Cocker. Tentatively pushed in 2010, her album (with Ellie Goulding's producer) is finally due next month.

Here come the girls! How to bring up daughters

Rules and boundaries. White lies and love. Our guide to raising female teens

Lucy Porter: Enough of all these rewards. Let's have a 'dishonours list'

It's pretty embarrassing to admit, but whenever I read the New Year Honours list, there's always a part of me that hopes that – due to a massive clerical cock-up – my name will somehow appear.

The stars of Cameron's Big Society dominate New Year Honours list

Awards also given to those in business, fashion, sport, the arts and media

Album: Annie Lennox, A Christmas Cornucopia (Island)

Annie Lennox hoarsely bellowing the very bleakest of carols with all the warmth of a stern Victorian materfamilias?

Rich and ruthless: how Cherie sees herself?

Blair buys a portrait depicting her as a 12-century courtier

Annie Lennox launches Christmas number one bid

Annie Lennox has quit her record label after 30 years to launch an assault on the charts for the Christmas number one.

Composers of video game music to get their own top award

For the first time, the prestigious Ivor Novellos are to recognise excellence in a thriving £28bn industry

A junket? Certainly not. More champers, anyone?

Britain's very own Davos has big names, big ideas – and very big fees

Hits of the Brits

Next week's Brit Awards include a category commemorating the most memorable performance of the show's past 30 years, writes Elisa Bray
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
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
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
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
10 best reed diffusers

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
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
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

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform