Arts and Entertainment

Sheryl Crow "Feels Like Home" (Warner Bros)

Lianne La Havas, The Social

The crowd at tonight’s gig, which kicks off Lianne La Havas’ European tour, is probably very pleased that she’s been through a bad relationship.

Brit School graduate Jessie J gained three nominations. She battles the chart-conquering Adele for the Best Female award

Ed Sheeran battles female stars for top billing at the Brits

He is the acoustic troubadour who began his career strumming in the empty back rooms of pubs then bedding down on friends' sofas.

Album: Ani Difranco, Which Side Are You On? (Righteous Babe)

Ani DiFranco's first album in three years finds the self-proclaimed Righteous Babe in feisty, thoughtful form, her political ardour undimmed despite a discernibly increased interest in the effects of ageing, particularly the way it deepens and matures the once callow emotions of love and devotion.

Album: Kathleen Edwards, Voyageur (Rounder)

For her fourth album, Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards has drafted in Bon Iver's Justin Vernon as co-producer, along with guest singers and musicians including Norah Jones and S Carey.

Kate Nash

Kate Nash to take her rock lessons for girls to the masses

The platinum-selling singer Kate Nash is expanding her own network of after-school music clubs, having already established six in the secondary schools of Yeovil, Liverpool and Bournemouth.

Billie Jo Spears: Country singer who scored her biggest hit with 'Blanket on the Ground'

Many artists have a "career record", a song which becomes so well-known that it swamps anything else they do. With Billie Jo Spears, it was her 1975 single, "Blanket on the Ground", a song which suggested putting the romance back into a marriage. "It became controversial," said Spears, "as many of the listeners thought I was singing 'sleep around' instead of 'slip around'. The country fans thought it sounded like a cheating song, and they don't like girls who sing cheating songs." With a few more plays, everyone realised what the song was about and it became an international bestseller.

At ease: Kate Jackson

The firebrand who found a softer side

After fronting the Long Blondes, Kate Jackson can finally be herself as a solo artist, she tells Elisa Bray

At ease: Kate Jackson; on stage with the Long Blondes

Kate Jackson - The indie-rock firebrand who got in touch with her softer side

As frontwoman of the Long Blondes, Kate Jackson adopted an aggressive alter ego. Now she's gone solo, she can at last be herself, she tells Elisa Bray

Gary Speed's widow Louise with their son in the stands yesterday

Family, friends and fans join in tribute to Gary Speed

A ceremony at Leeds United's ground and a record by Stereophonics frontman honour the Wales manager

Album: Judy Collins, Bohemian (Wildflower)

Inspired by memories of '60s southern California, Judy Collins'sBohemian is aglow with fond reveries of a time of infinite possibility: even Woody Guthrie's dustbowl hymn "Pastures Of Plenty" receives a luminous interpretation from which all the dust has been hoovered away.

Album: Charlene Soraia, Moonchild (Peacefrog)

Pastoral English psychedelicism has a long and curly reach.

Album: Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Here We Rest (Lightning Rod)

"Here we rest" was the original motto of Isbell's home state, Alabama, while the music locates the ex-Drive-By Trucker in a forest of local allusions foliated by the 400 Unit's ability to tinker, nicely but slightly blandly, with Alabama's indigenous musical genres: soul, rock, country, backwoods folk.

The Decemberists, Hammersmith Apollo, London

Few bands are without an identifiable frontman or woman, but some are more front than others. Oregon six-piece The Decemberists are a case in point.

Shaun Ryder's lyrical confusion

Shaun Ryder doesn't understand his own songs.

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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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A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

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Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

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Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

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Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

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