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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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn