Arts and Entertainment Sasheer Zamata made a low-key but notable debut on 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend as the first black female cast member since 2007

Sasheer Zamata made a low-key but notable debut on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend as the first black female cast member since 2007.

Why British is best for the aces of bass

Chase & Status could have had the pick of the US A-listers on their latest album – but they went native instead, they tell Elisa Bray

Rock is caught in a hard place as it hits the bottom of the pops

"Rock and roll is here to stay," sang Danny and the Juniors in 1958. If only. New statistics reveal the number of rock hits in the top 100 biggest-selling singles of 2010 to be the lowest in half a century.

Ofcom to investigate X Factor final

The X Factor final is to be investigated by Ofcom after the broadcasting standards watchdog received some 2,750 complaints from viewers about suggestive performances by both US singer Christina Aguilera, and Barbadian R&B star Rihanna.

Decoded: Songs and their meanings

Jay-Z has written a book about his lyrics – but others aren't so clear cut

Album: Rihanna, Loud (Def Jam)

So blank she almost fades to white, so slender she almost disappears from view, Rihanna is the archetypal modern pop star: the spindly skeleton of an umb-er-ella-ella-ella over which any canvas can be stretched.

Album: Rihanna, Loud (Mercury)

Perhaps trying to distance it from the darker world of sexual violence that dominated Rated R, Rihanna has described Loud as "really sassy and flirty", though listening to tracks like the masochist drama "Love the Way You Lie" and the bluntly-titled "S&M", this seems somewhat disingenuous.

Willow Smith, 9, signs record deal with Jay-Z

Willow Smith, the nine-year-old daughter of actor Will Smith, has signed a record deal with rapper Jay-Z and her first single is already kicking up a storm on the Internet.

Album: Eminem, Recovery (Interscope/Shady)

What'd be nice, after the umpteenth Eminem album about Eminem, would be a record that stands on its own legs and addresses the world beyond.

R&B star denied UK entry over assault

The American singer Chris Brown has been denied a visa to enter Britain, days before his tour was due to start.

Alicia Keys, National Indoor Arena, Birmingham<br/>The Chemical Brothers, Roundhouse, London

Alicia is just right. Especially when she gets behind a piano

Rihanna, O2 Arena, London

Revamped Rihanna's highly rated

Album: Various Artists, Glee: The Music, Volume 1 (Columbia)

As apparently the only person in the western hemisphere not to have seen an episode of Glee, it's hardly surprising I found myself neither angered nor elated by the karaoke-pop repossessions of rock history that comprise this soundtrack album.

Party Of The Week: Pre-Grammy bash keeps guests up late

Comedian Russell Brand and his fiancée, the pop star Katy Perry, fooled around with Rihanna at Hollywood's pre-Grammy bash at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

TMZ gossip website to target sports stars

"Premier League boss caught in a brothel!" screamed The Sun. It's a salaciously poised headline offering just enough to whet its readers' appetite, satisfy lawyers and allow the guilty subject some short-term anonymity to plan his defence.

Review of the Year 2009: Quotes

'I woke up as Britney Spears!'
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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
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment