Sport Mae Young, superstar of the first generation of professional women wrestlers, has died aged 90

Female emancipation has taken many forms, but few as gaudy and violent as the breakthrough largely pioneered by Mae Young, better known as "the Great Mae Young," superstar of the first generation of professional women wrestlers in the US, who conclusively gave the lie to generalisations about the gentler sex. In sport records are made to be broken, but Young's feat of appearing professionally in eight different decades may never be surpassed.

Album: Danielle de Niese, Beauty of the Baroque (Decca)

The gamine soprano follows up last year's Diva compilation with this excellent set on which she revisits the Baroque music that first drew her into performance.

Leading article: Easy listening

What honour could be more satisfying than an appearance on Desert Island Discs? To be invited proves that you are a person of significance. And it panders to the strange hankering that has lurked in the British subconscious at least since the time of Daniel Defoe to get away from urban civilisation and to live alone in a tropical paradise. Plus it invites you to choose and hear your eight favourite tracks.

Album: Joyce DiDonato, Diva Divo (Virgin Classics)

For Joyce DiDonato, the restrictions of her mezzo-soprano range are more than adequately compensated for by the opportunity to play a wider range of characters, "from ardent young men to demented, murderous wives".

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Zinman, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Some collaborations are just meant to be. Bringing David Zinman and the OAE together made for the best kind of mutuality: Zinman’s acute ear and cleanness of execution; the orchestra’s arresting character.

Deadly divas: The baddest, sexiest women in opera

As Anna Nicole takes centre stage, Mark Pappenheim charts lust, adultery and even murder among the femme fatales

Diva Zappa's knits are the daughters of invention

Frank Zappa's youngest daughter, Diva, 31, has her first UK show of contemporary knitwear art and "couture canvases".

Motown diva Teena Marie dies aged 54

The R&B singer and songwriter Teena Marie, best known for the hit 1980s singles "Lovergirl" and "Ooo La La La", died at her home in Los Angeles on Boxing Day. She was 54.

Album: Tinchy Stryder, Third Strike (Island)

The cover shot, of tiny Tinchy's image expanded to the size of a tower block, surely reflects the rapper's ambition, which is substantial: "Me, I'm having meetings with the President," he claims unfeasibly in "Gangsta".

'Female-friendly' insurers catch the unwary

Specialist providers are more likely to charge over the odds for cover despite women's safety record

Full circle: Why is Sandie Shaw back on stage?

Sandie Shaw was traumatised by her experiences as a pop star in the 1960s – and became a therapist to help others through the highs and lows. So what persuaded the barefoot princess to return to the stage for the first time in 25 years?

Album: Danielle De Niese, Diva (Decca)

The popular young soprano's third album is a bit of a cheat, being largely comprised of arias plucked from her two previous albums dedicated to Handel and Mozart, including the splendid duet from Don Giovanni with Bryn Terfel, "Là Ci Darem La Mano".

Album: Jonathan Harvey, Speakings (Aeon)

Harvey's three pieces here are based around the notion of instruments simulating not so much the sound as the mannerisms of human voices. "Scena", for instance, features five tableaux in which the violin behaves like a diva.

Album: Christina Aguilera, Bionic (RCA)

As Aggy returns to the diva fray, naysayers are suggesting that a certain other Warhol-loving exhibitionist has rendered her passé.

Album: Kid Sister, Ultraviolet (Downtown)

A whiff of Partridgean "People like them, let's make some more" thinking surrounds the distinctly Kesha-like Kid Sister – aka 29-year-old Melisa Young from Chicago – but the Kanye West-affiliated crunk diva (West appears on the single "Pro Nails", and the whole thing's exec-produced by his DJ A-Trak) has enough in her locker to justify her existence.

Album: Gabriella Cilmi, Ten (Island Records)

Oh dear. Having scored themost played record of2009 with the still-notthat-irritating "SweetAbout Me", the Italian-Aussie songstress hasplugged into her "innerdisco diva" for this, hersecond album. It's a disastrousdecision: moreTeena Marie than DonnaSummer; all backcombedbeats and 1980s powerchords.Ten calls to mindKylie's early 1990s discodabblings, when she maderecords aimed at crossingfrom the dancefloor to theradio, when her naturaltrajectory was alwaysthe other way around.

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