Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin: Return of the Queen of Soul

At 69, the Queen of Soul has survived surgery and a traumatic break-up to record her first new album in a decade. In a rare interview, she talks to Rob Hoerburger about her music, her glory days – and why she is still looking for love

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame celebrates 25th birthday

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame celebrated its 25th birthday last night in the only way it knew how. By rocking out. Some of the biggest names in rock music including Sting and Bruce Springsteen graced the stage at Madison Square Gardens as part of the five hour concert. A further celebration is set to shake the prestigious venue tonight as the likes of Aretha Franklin and U2 provide birthday surprises.

The celebrations: Man of the hour walks among his faithful followers

He didn't shake any hands, was surrounded by dozens of secret service agents, and only left his new heated Cadillac for a few minutes. But Barack Obama's first walkabout as US President succeeded in warming-up a crowd which had been shivering on Capitol Hill since well before dawn.

The pop star: VV Brown

On paper, 24-year-old VV Brown certainly has the makings of a star – beauty, a big voice and, crucially, the backing of a major record label. Add to that her penchant for retro-soul and success on a huge scale seems a foregone conclusion.

Introducing Beth Rowley's gospel truth

Beth Rowley's parents were missionaries in Peru, so it's hardly surprising that the young singer-songwriter has an exotic approach to her music. By Nick Duerden