Arts and Entertainment

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

Pop on Record: Janet The Velvet Rope

Virgin CDV 2860

Body & Soul

Toni Braxton has put the romance back into black music. Interview by Jacqueline Springer. Photograph by Jeff Stern

Obituary: Harold Melvin

Harold Melvin was one of the pioneers of the Philly Sound which now epitomises the mid-Seventies.

My old trouble

DILLIE KEANE on losing her hearing

'Barry may be the walrus of love. But Luther is the real thing'

Probing, insidious and effortless ... Luther Vandross's voice caresses parts other vocalists cannot reach. His fluctuating weight, the visible emblem of his vulnerability, just makes you love him more - even though he's just stood us all up. By Phil Johnson

Letter: Aretha's no softie

Aretha's no softie

CD-ROM review: The Music File File Productions, pounds 14

Produced in association with Mojo magazine, this CD-Rom runs only under Windows 3.11 or Windows 95. If you rely on the disk's readme.txt file for installation instructions, you'll be puzzled as it gets the names of the separate set-up programs for Windows 95 and 3.11 obviously mixed up. Go with the sleeve notes - they get it right.

LAST 5 RECORDS I BOUGHT: Jacqui Dankworth

Jacqui Dankworth, Cleo Laine's daughter, is becoming famous in her own right. Her new album is entitled Field of Blue

Wholesome goes wholesale

If you're a preacher's daughter, then market-friendliness comes at a price. Toni Braxton is a diva with a problem.

Wigan prevail in bruising contest

Halifax 4 Wigan 50

Today's ticket offer: Tina Turner

Today's ticket offer

let your fingers do the talking

FORGET tasteful French manicures or last year's short, dark Dietrichesque Vampish nails. Nail art, once a disastrous Seventies disco fad, is back, with the hippest nails sporting everything from tacky gold transfers to feathers, rhinestones, even chains. Formerly confined to the trashiest of trailer trash, nail art is now being sported by a new generation of Seventies revivalists. "Recently it's all the rage with clubbers and party girls ," says Pansy Alexander, 42, owner of the salon Nails to Go.

He's on the brink of mega-stardom, has a Hollywood home and a new Mercedes. But he still gets teary-eyed over gloomy London skies; the interview SEAL, SINGER, TALKS TO BEN THOMPSON

seal Henry Samuel is one of those names - like Prince Rogers Nelson or Madonna Louise Ciccone - that seem to destine their bearers for fame. Snowflakes nudge the Park Lane hotel room window as Seal, somehow contriving to sound modest rather than monomaniacal, says: "My manager tells me that I'm on the verge of becoming a megastar." Does he view this prospect with any trepidation? "I embrace it whole-heartedly ... that's what life's all about: embracing each experience as it happens, even if it's a bad one. Every experience is good in retrospect."

SHARPENING UP SAVILE ROW

Ozwald Boateng's leap from computer engineering to Savile Row has taken 11 years. Last week, his colourful arrival was made official with the launch of his new shop at 9 Vigo Street (just on the borders of "The Row's" territory, which has always extended beyond the actual street itself).

Jazz HAROLD MELVIN AND THE BLUE NOTES The Green Room, Cafe Royal, London

Imagine, for a moment, being Harold Melvin. There you are, a soul singer plying an unknown, unrecognised and unspotted furrow for 16 years, when, in 1972, your home town of Philadelphia unexpectedly becomes the centre of black music. As a local who can sing, you and your vocal trio are picked up, promoted heavily, wonderful songs are written for you and you start to sell international quantities of records. At which point you discover it is not you the world is interested in. It is your lead singer, Teddy Pendergrass, the leather-clad soul God, the original Theopholus P Wildebeest who woos the ladies with his sensational tenor and his bedroom demeanour.
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
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