Arts and Entertainment

It was the weekend when it was announced that women were responsible for each of the UK's top five albums that finally pushed me over the edge. Let me be more specific. It wasn't the fact that Amy Winehouse, Adele and Beyoncé were occupying those top spots that I took issue with – it was the predictable flurry of media reporting, proclaiming that women in music were having some sort of moment.

Troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse dies at 27

The soul and R&B star, whose drink and drug problems often made the headlines, was found in her London home yesterday

Pop newbies Encore get to the point with QR codes

The new British boy band Encore, who have just supported Jesse J and N-Dubz on their UK tours, are to release their single "Tit for Tat" next month.

Camden Crawl, Various venues, London

Beer and roaming in north London

Wretch 32, XOYO, London

It's no secret that the success of MCs like Dizzee Rascal, Tinchy Stryder, Tinie Tempah et al has inspired record labels to frantically snatch up as many of these underground stars as possible, with Wretch 32 being the latest kid on the block to be tipped for the big time. Back in January, he landed a No 5 single with "Traktor", a pounding tune so wickedly addictive, Diddy insisted on performing it with the 26-year-old at his Last Train to Paris party earlier this year. Then, Ian Brown gave him his blessing by allowing him to use a sample of The Stone Roses' "Fools Gold" for his most recent single, "Unorthodox". Exciting times, then, for Jermaine Sinclair, especially for a guy who grew up on a Tottenham estate but can now stamp "wooer of rap moguls and rock legends" on his CV, and has shown he's got a lot more going for him than being another mix-tape rapper with a ghetto backstory. Musically, he infuses soul and a real sense of poetry into his observational lyrics, and on stage he's fun, energetic and chatty, leading the chant: "forget about violence, I rather be cool!"

Minor British Institutions: Innit

Innit's a good thing, innit? There we were, bumbling along in our self-effacing, John Le Mesurier kind of way, finishing our sentences on a limp and dying fall, when along came innit, innit?

Young, gifted and black – and ignored

Why is the record industry failing to nurture more urban female singing talent? Matilda Egere-Cooper blames stereotyping

Courtney Pine - 'I became one of the most hated saxophonists of all time'

Despite his billing as one of Britain's most celebrated and influential jazz artists, Courtney Pine tells Ian Burrell that it hasn't been an easy ride to the top table

Bashy - The bus driver who found a ticket to hip-hop fame

When fans mobbed Bashy in his cab, the rapper knew it was time to get off the 183 to Golders Green and plan a route to stardom. Charlotte Cripps goes a few stops with him

Album: Tinchy Stryder, Third Strike (Island)

The cover shot, of tiny Tinchy's image expanded to the size of a tower block, surely reflects the rapper's ambition, which is substantial: "Me, I'm having meetings with the President," he claims unfeasibly in "Gangsta".

Cultural Life: Tinchy Stryder, musician

Music: Right now I'm listening to a lot of things, but mostly Clipse. When it comes to rapping they're really good, they're inspirational and they give me motivation. I feel like I want to write lyrics when I hear them. There's a song on Rick Ross's album 'Teflon Don' called "B.M.F" and every time I go out it comes on and it just puts me in a different mood. The whole album is good – it's consistent. I also like Jme's album 'Blam!' because he has really kept to his own sound.

Trevor Nelson: 'I don't want to be a celebrity'

Despite winning radio's equivalent of an Oscar, DJ Trevor Nelson doesn't care about fame. He tells Ian Burrell why for him it's all about the music

Rhodri Marsden: The lost art of boredom

Children are fed up. Their parents are too. We're uninspired at work, and listless at home. Perhaps it's time to embrace being bored – and learn to love it

School's out: The summer's cultural treats for children

It's August, school's out – but the sun might not be. There's a lot to see and do, but arts for children needn't be childish. Alice Jones and Miranda Kiek pick the best fare for the younger culture vulture
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee