Arts and Entertainment

Sheryl Crow "Feels Like Home" (Warner Bros)

Album: Taylor Swift, Fearless, (Big Machine)

Taylor Swift, a lion-haired, God-thanking teenager from Pennsylvania, is currently the hottest thing in the US since sliced Obama, and Universal is shifting as many copies of Fearless as possible before she does a Britney.

Album: Miss Lana Rebel, All I Need (Loose)

Ah, good old-fashioned country music. Well, good old-fashioned country music as played by someone who spent her twenties in "a sludgy, noisy, instrumental math-metal band called Last of the Juanitas". Miss Lana Rebel is a native of Portland, Oregan, who writes and sings whisky-soaked country songs guaranteed to put tears in your beers. Too left-field for the Nashville mainstream, 'All I Need' is one for those who can tell their Neko Case from their Mary Gaulthier.

Butch Baldassari: Mandolin player whose work encompassed several musical genres

Avirtuoso mandolin player, Butch Baldassari effortlessly straddled musical genres.

Bettie Page: Queen of the Fifties pin-ups who became a cult figure

Though her modelling career only spanned seven years in the Fifties, the American pin-up Bettie Page fuelled many a fantasy and helped usher in the sexual revolution of the Sixties.

Lambchop, Union Chapel, London

Lambchop once played so quietly at London's Somerset House that you could hear the birds in the trees above them.

Police foil plot by white supremacists to kill Obama

A plot by far-right extremists to assassinate Barack Obama and kill and decapitate dozens of other black Americans at a school has been broken up, US officials claimed yesterday.

Charlie Walker: Honky-tonk singer of 'Pick Me Up On Your Way Down'

Charlie Walker was a honky-tonk musician and disc jockey best known for his classic recording of "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down". Written by the great Harlan Howard, the song, with its insistent shuffle rhythm, was a Top Five country hit in 1958.

Don Helms: Hank Williams' steel guitarist

A highly influential steel guitarist, Don Helms was best known for his membership of Hank Williams' band The Drifting Cowboys. His distinctive style, with its blues inflections and characteristic use of the upper octaves, featured on over a hundred of the singer's classic sides, including "Cold, Cold Heart" (1950), "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)" (1951) and "Your Cheatin' Heart" (1952).

Johann Hari: Here's how to tune in to both Muslims and the Deep South

Music is the key to understanding two of the most politically charged, politically reviled places on earth

My Secret Life: Kid Rock, Musician, age 37

The home I grew up in... was a beautiful, very middle-class American colonial house. It was set over six acres of land and there was an apple orchard out the back. My dad got me selling the apples to our neighbours at an early age.

Nicole Kidman gives birth to girl



Nicole Kidman gave birth on a Monday to a baby girl named Sunday.

Album: Solomon Burke, Like a Fire (Pinnacle)

The King of Rock and Soul's last album Nashville didn't, as far as I recall, get a UK release, but Like a Fire continues its clear country orientation with a satisfying set of country-soul performances, ranging from the almost swamp-funk gospel of Ben Harper's "A Minute to Rest and a Second to Pray" at one extreme to "If I Give My Heart to You", a torch-song in the pioneering black-country tradition established by Ray Charles, at the other.

Album: Emmylou Harris, All I Intended to Be (Nonesuch)

Emmylou's Daniel Lanois period is over. She's back in Nashville with Brian Ahern on the other side of the thickened glass, which means that an elegantly chiming country-rock sound replaces the arty false perspectives and cultivated grit of the Lanois vibe.

Album: Dolly Parton, Backwoods Barbie (Dolly/Universal)

The first album on her own label has apparently secured Dolly Parton her first Top 20 placing since 1993 – and no wonder, given its combination of technical accomplishment and sheer likeability.

Eddy Arnold: Country music superstar

Eddy Arnold was arguably the most successful country singer of the 20th century. He sold an estimated 85 million records and enjoyed more than 140 US hits, 28 of them chart-toppers. He cut his first single for RCA Victor in 1944 and was still very much a presence on the country scene in the 1990s, having made a guest appearance on the teen sensation LeAnn Rimes' award-winning album Blue in 1996.

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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions