John Mayer fights back over Taylor Swift's 'Dear John' track

Taylor Swift has never revealed her target in the scathing song "Dear John," but John Mayer is pretty sure it was about him — and he doesn't think that's cool.

Five-minute memoir: Helen Mort remembers being a fake bride

Iwas 16 when we sneaked into the bridal shop. I was wearing denim flares twice as big as my legs and a T-shirt with Kurt Cobain's face on it. I kept my hair in a bob so short the lads at school called me 'Harold'. As we approached the glass front door, passing under a sign that said 'Virgin Brides' in red and gold, my friend nodded at it and sniggered, "Ask them if you get a discount".

Shepherdess Emma Gray

How I wooed the lovelorn shepherdess

Emma Gray made headlines with a book chronicling her solitary life on a Northumberland farm miles from civilisation - and the opposite sex. So could Jonathan Brown be the answer to her prayers?

Windfall for founder as Yell buys Moonfruit

A London entrepreneur who was forced to sack staff at her website-making business in a bid to save money today sold it for up to £23 million.

Gemma Cairney: 'I'm really loud in public; I'm always bellowing something out '

I'm a total musical tart My playlist goes from Sam Cooke and Emeli Sandé to Maverick Sabre; it's a real pick and mix. But because I work in radio I now dedicate time each month to listen to an album from start to finish; I like the lyrical stories some tell, such as with Emeli Sandé's album [Our Version of Events], which I sing my heart out to on the [London] Underground.

Harriet Walker: I blame the psychotic gym teachers

As a pupil whose abilities lay very much beyond the sports pitch, I recall distinctly the contempt and cruelty with which I was treated by those in charge of my supposed physical wellbeing. The problem with sport in schools is that it's precisely that – not exercise, not health, not calisthenics, but sport. And sport is not for all.

In demand: Rupert Friend

'The only way to act is to be the person'

Several films and a high-profile romance shot Rupert Friend into the spotlight. These days, back on the London stage, he prefers a quieter life, he tells Charlotte Cripps

Meredith and her mother Arline

Family release photographs of Meredith Kercher

The family of Meredith Kercher have called on her killer to reveal what happened on the night of her death, as they release previously unpublished photographs of the murdered student.

Jones says: 'I'm fine with talking about my relationship with my father now because I feel like I don’t have anything to prove'

Her dark materials: How Norah Jones finally exorcised her demons

She survived sudden stardom to sell more than 40 million albums. Ten years on, she has finally got to know her famous father. So why are pain and heartbreak still providing the inspiration for pop music's mistress of alchemy?

Lana del Rey has a new video based on a depressed teenage girl, 'Carmen'

Trending: The Lana Del Rey way

After the glossy, big-budget music video for "Born To Die", Lana Del Rey has returned to the Instagram-esque promos that splice retro footage with sultry shots of the 25-year-old songstress that first caught our attention. The new video for "Carmen", which tells the story of a depressed teenage party girl, has an almost identical aesthetic to previous singles "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans". Want to make your own? Here's a LDR video checklist:

The Long Goodbye, By Meghan O'Rourke

When her mother died from cancer at the age of 53, American poet Meghan O'Rourke found that nothing prepared her for the intensity of her grief. Waking up in a world without her mother she says was "like waking up in a world without sky: unimaginable." O'Rourke's unsparing chronicle of her mother's death explains how it felt to travel from a place of safety to a more desolate shore.

Millionaire's daughter 'too scared to stop looters'

A millionaire's daughter who drove looters around while they robbed people at knifepoint during last year's riots told a court today she had been too scared to stop them.

'I was too scared to stop looters', says millionaire's daughter

A millionaire's daughter who drove looters around while they robbed people at knifepoint during last year's riots told a court today she had been too scared to stop them.

Anne Bass was victim of a terrifying raid led by Emanuel Nicolescu (pictured)

Butler headed gang that terrorised US socialite's family

The plot might have been plucked from a crime novel: a wealthy US socialite and her boyfriend were tied up by an armed gang, injected with a "lethal virus," and told that, without help, they would be dead within 24 hours.

The cast of Desperate Housewives – Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman, Teri Hatcher and Nicollette Sheridan

The Desperate Housewife, the series creator and a court case stranger than fiction

Nicollette Sheridan was the British star of Marc Cherry's suburban soap opera. Now she's suing him for punching her in the head – and then sacking her

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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us