Arts and Entertainment

Sheryl Crow "Feels Like Home" (Warner Bros)

Nashville star Carrie Underwood is due to play at the festival of country music at the O2 Arena

Welcome to Nashville: Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw to play UK's largest country music festival

Britain is preparing for a rhinestone invasion as Nashville’s stars launch a bid to inject country music’s whisky-soaked anthems into the nation’s musical mainstream.

Nashville star Carrie Underwood is due to play at the festival of country music at the O2 Arena

Nashville woos the UK: Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw to play largest country music festival at O2

Britain is preparing for a rhinestone invasion as Nashville’s stars launch a bid to inject country music’s whisky-soaked anthems into the nation’s musical mainstream.

Bath Literature Festival: Master storytellers - why some politicians can make us believe

Boris Johnson was the perfect example of a modern politician because he “excelled at telling a leadership story” even if he didn’t do much in the way of actual leadership, Gavin Esler has told the Bath Literature Festival.

My life in travel: Russell Kane

'I've promised myself I'll meet Mickey'

Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Playful as ever, Richard Thompson has described his latest project as a “weedy power trio” that plays “folk-funk”. Fact is, tonight offers precious little folk, not much funk and his current, highly economical line-up sounds anything but puny.

Chow down: ham chowder at Nashville’s Capitol Grille

Food Miles: Authenticity is the name, and quality is the game

There's never been a better time than now to be a gourmet traveller. The globalisation of food trends and culture may have led to a certain homogenisation at the very top end of the market, but it also means that chefs and restaurateurs are keener than ever to rediscover what's local and authentic. Foodie destinations are more accessible and Michelin-starred chefs continue to expand their empires into new and sometimes unexpected locations, helping to increase the quality of dining out around the world.

A life as dramatic as any of her songs: McCready in Nashville in 2000

Mindy McCready: Talented but troubled country singer

In 1996 Mindy McCready burst on to the American country music scene with her album Ten Thousand Angels, and a No 1 single, "Guys Do It All the Time". She was a troubled individual and the pressures of success only compounded her problems. She described her own existence as "a whirlwind of chaos" – and after a life as dramatic as any of her songs, McCready apparently took her own life on 17 February.

Man remanded over Facebook comment which kept 3,000 American kids away from school

Comment suggested something violent might happen at high school

'World's oldest person' Besse Cooper dies aged 116

The woman who was listed as the world's oldest person has died in a Georgia nursing home at age 116.

Musician Gillian Welch have got the approval from PM David Cameron

A beginner’s guide to David Cameron’s favourite, Gillian Welch

Gillian Welch has joined a list of musicians – including The Smiths, Lana Del Rey and Band of Horses – unfortunate enough to get the seal of approval from David Cameron.

There are a number of conservative Christian groups in the US that are actively anti-gay.

Anti-homosexual Bible-belt Christian lives 'under cover' as a gay man for a year in a bid to challenge his bigotry

Timothy Kurek grew up in a deeply conservative Christian community in Nashville and was taught that homosexuality was ‘an abomination’ from an early age.

New American drama 'Nashville' is not another 'Glee' - it's a story set to music

Country music is about to go mainstream. Emily Yahr reports

Album: Joss Stone, The Soul Sessions Vol. 2 (Stone'd/S-Curve)

A "revisitation" of the idea which launched Stone into the crossover jetstream: ballsy, mannered reconstructions of what the word "soul" might once have stood for.

Funk Brothers bass player Bob Babbitt dies at 74

Prominent Motown studio musician and Funk Brothers member Bob Babbitt, whose bass playing pounded through the Temptations hit "Ball of Confusion" and Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)," has died. He was 74.

XO, By Jeffery Deaver. Hodder & Stoughton £18.99.

Authors of crime fiction know a way to give their writing a certain cachet: invoke music. Conan Doyle has Sherlock Holmes enjoying the operas of Wagner, while PD James gives Adam Dalgliesh a taste for Elgar's Cello Concerto. All this music has a certain cultural respectability however, and confers a degree of sophistication on your copper.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas