Album: Akon, Freedom (Island)

Senegalese R&B star Akon may be currently the world's most successful African performer, his own eight million album sales augmented by hit collaborations with the likes of Gwen Stefani and Leona Lewis.

Mercury rising: How Mercury Rev have mellowed

A decade ago, they made the album of the year, after drugs and in-fighting had taken their toll. Now Mercury Rev have mellowed, they tell Elisa Bray

Pandora: Westwood Jnr sweats over Government's pornography clampdown

Stand by for fireworks between Jack Straw's Ministry of Justice and members of Britain's "exotic" artistic community.

Santogold, Sub Club, Glasgow

"I really did come here last time I was meant to play," says Santogold, by way of explanation for the rescheduling of this date from a little over a month ago. "I just couldn't talk!"

Kylie Minogue, SECC, Glasgow

The queen of pop subdivides and rules

Shu Uemura: Creator of a global cosmetics brand

Like Max Factor, Shu Uemura was a make-up artist who learnt his craft in Hollywood and turned his talent into a global brand. His big break came in 1962 when he was asked to stand in for an established make-up artist who had fallen ill while working with Shirley MacLaine on the film My Geisha. It was Uemura's task to transform MacLaine from a bubbly redhead into a Japanese beauty. The end result was incredible, applauded by both star and staff on set.

Celebrity mother knows best (or how to dress your baby)

They may be style icons, but as Myleene Klass becomes the latest famous-mum-turned-designer, should they be telling us how to clothe our children? By Susie Mesure

Chris Rock, Manchester Apollo

Rock's solid patter finds a couple of stony patches

Victoria Newton: My Life In Media

Album: Gwen Stefani

Love Angel Music Baby, INTERSCOPE

Going Out: Pop - ALBUM REVIEWS

The Artist `Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic' (Arista)

TOP 10 UK SINGLES

1 Don't Speak No Doubt
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Tour de France competitor Bartosz Huzarski’s legs have highlighted the gruelling nature of the race, after he posted a picture on Facebook showing extremely prominent veins stretching from his feet and all the way up his legs
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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
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Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
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
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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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
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Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

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Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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