Arts and Entertainment

Let’s talk about sex, baby – and nothing but sex

Album: Beverley Knight, Soul UK (Hurricane)

Beverley Knight's survey of British soul highlights from the 1980s reminds one of what an underrated era that was, too easily overlooked in deference to the genre's US roots. Comparisons are inevitable – and if "Southern Freeez" here sounds like Britain's own "Funky Nassau", there's no shame in that, nor in Knight's version of Junior Giscombe's "Mama Used to Say" coming across like the UK equivalent of a Jam & Lewis casual funk strut.

Janet Jackson, Royal Albert Hall, London

A Jackson who's still a real thriller

Album: Beverley Knight, Soul UK (Hurricane Records)

Wolverhampton's finest revisits some favourite home-grown soul from her youth, making a strong case for her argument that this genre always gets overlooked when the media gets nostalgic about the 1980s and 1990s.

Album: Daniel Taylor, Shakespeare: Come Again, Sweet Love (RCA Red Seal)

Accompanied by the voices and period instruments of the Theatre of Early Music, celebrated countertenor Daniel Taylor here presents a collection of songs drawn from, or influenced by, Shakespeare, composed by the likes of Gibbons, Purcell and Dowland.

Album: Candi Staton, Evidence: The Complete Fame Records Masters (Kent)

Rick Hall, the owner and producer of Fame studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, liked to push his recording-meters well into the red, creating a slightly distorted sound-print that gave an extra grain of grit to his late 1960s/early 1970s, country-soul stylings.

How We Met: Jaki Graham & Beverley Knight

'I knew her as a singer who lived locally and I saw her in our local store when I was 10'

Plan B joins Novello A-list

Plan B was crowned king of the Ivor Novello Awards last night after picking up three honours, including the best album award for the chart-topping release The Defamation Of Strickland Banks.

Marvin Gaye: Mixed messages heard on the grapevine

A biopic of Marvin Gaye is set for the screen, but the singer's family are not happy about it, discovers Geoffrey Macnab

Aretha Franklin getting ready for birthday bash

Aretha Franklin is planning a huge star-studded bash to celebrate her 69th birthday tomorrow.

Adele's father too upset to watch her sing

Adele's "rotten" father has never seen her perform.

Album: James Blake, James Blake (Atlas/A&M)

Pity poor Jamie Lidell. You struggle for years to get across your groundbreaking blend of glitchy, fractured electronica and unorthodox soul stylings, then some young chap comes along doing much the same thing, and people acclaim him as the pioneer.

Album: Adele, 21 (XL / Columbia)

Her label has thrown the works at the second album by croak-voiced Brit-School brat Adele Adkins, with top producers from both sides of the Atlantic (Rick Rubin, Paul Epworth) and a roll-call of songwriters you’ve never heard of but who wrote half the top 10, conspiring to create a more rootsy sound for 21 than her debut 19.

Ten best erotic Christmas gifts

Marvin Gaye once said "I'm hot just like an oven, I need some lovin'". And with that, went to find some sexual healing.

Mavis Staples, Jazz Cafe, London

Small of stature but colossal of voice, Mavis Staples is a potent reminder of the Civil Rights era, her power undiminished in her seventies.

Soul singer Solomon Burke dies age 70

Soul singer Solomon Burke, who wrote "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" and recorded the hit "Cry To Me" used in the movie "Dirty Dancing," has died at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. He was 70.

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Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

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Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
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The air strikes were tragically real

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Britain as others see us

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How did our legends really begin?

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Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

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