Arts & Entertainment Anna Calvi performs at Reading 2011

You may be tempted, when Anna Calvi steps onstage, to note how small she is compared to her enormous black guitar, or to comment on her angelic blond Marcel waves.

Marianne Faithfull pictured in March 2013

Marianne Faithfull cancels concerts after breaking her back

Singer and actress Marianne Faithfull is recovering after breaking a bone in her back in an accident.

Jonny Hallyday was seduced by Edith Piaf

'I was terrified': Jonny Hallyday reveals how he was seduced at 17 - by a 44-year-old Edith Piaf

He was a teenage rocker on the rise and she was a national treasure on the skids

Album review: Andrea Bocelli, Passione (Decca)

Before he became a household name, Andrea Bocelli paid his dues in bars, doing the kind of romantic repertoire that best tickled punters' palates.

Rambert, Sadler's Wells, London
François Testory, Robin Howard Dance Theatre, The Place, London

After 100 years of the new, modern dance is still fizzing

Simon Cowell admits he 'had a crush' on his fellow X Factor judge, Dannii Minogue

Trending: Cowell's crush joins tales with added X Factor

The news that Simon Cowell supposedly had a fling with his fellow X Factor judge Dannii Minogue filled the weekend's tabloids. The story comes from Tom Bower's new biography of the publicity-friendly music mogul, in which Cowell admitted that he "had a crush" on Minogue, adding, "it was genuine love".

Leading article: Lost greatness

The news of her death was shocking, but sadly no one could say it was unexpected. That precocious, extravagant talent which brought Amy Winehouse success and critical acclaim was matched by her capacity for self-destruction. In an example of the enigma of human creativity, she was able to use the chaotic darkness of her addictions – drink, drugs and toxic relationships – to create music and lyrics which channelled her hurt and despair into great songs which immediately spoke to millions. And she delivered them in that astonishing voice, one of the greatest of modern times, as powerfully and immediately moving as those of Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Maria Callas.

Rufus & Martha Wainwright, Royal Opera House, London

Rarely has there been a more affably erudite performer than Rufus Wainwright. As he cracks a one-liner about Richard Wagner on stage at the Royal Opera House, his sister Martha – with whom he shares the stage tonight – and the crowd chuckle. Moments later, the siblings burst into a cover of Elton John and Kiki Dee's 1976 number one "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", during a performance also including work by Edith Piaf, Leonard Cohen and their late mother, Kate McGarrigle, as well as original material from both Wainwright children. This is not under any circumstances a traditional gig.

Cocteau Voices, Royal Opera House, London

No regrets as Walker scores with Cocteau

When Scott Walker met Francis Poulenc

The Royal Opera is pushing boundaries in a new show which mixes music, dance and two very different composers. By Jessica Duchen

Brian Viner: At last - the music we really want to hear

Kirsty Young, the presenter of Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, considers it unlikely that "The Birdie Song" will feature when the nation's own favourite records are revealed in tomorrow morning's special edition of the venerable programme. The Great British public, asked to imagine themselves as castaways, have been registering their own choices on the Radio 4 website.

Many regrets of Edith Piaf revealed in her love letters

Edith Piaf did, it appears, regret many things. The great diva of la chanson française craved a "normal" life, with children, "pretty curtains" and a cycling champion for a husband, according to a volume of her love letters published in France.

Leading article: Grin and bear it

Say hello to 5-HTT. Scientists have identified this strip of DNA as the "happiness gene". If you've got it, you're likely to adopt a glass half full attitude to life. If you don't, your cup of sorrow will run over. But this leads us back to that old philosophical debate about nature versus nurture.

No Regrets, By Carolyn Burke

Much has been written about the singer Edith Piaf, France's "Little Sparrow" who was famed for her impoverished childhood, her doomed love affairs, her illnesses and addictions and her mastery of la chanson réaliste. Along with books (including Piaf's rather selective memoir The Wheel of Fortune) there have been various biopics, most recently Olivier Dahan's La Vie En Rose, for which Marion Cotillard won an Oscar. So what can there possibly be left to say?

Anna Calvi - The red and the black and the blonde

Anna Calvi is lionised by Chanel, Gucci, and Vogue, as well as producing stylish music. Gillian Orr meets the singer
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvAs the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian on why he'll never bow to critics who habitually circle his work
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Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
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Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
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David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
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From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
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Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week