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This year brought defiant statements from masters old and new: the iconoclastic Madame X, reuniting Madonna with ‘disco god’ Mirwais; and the epochal Norman Fucking Rockwell from Lana Del Rey.

Among this year’s other great albums were Sharon Van Etten’s wistful Remind Me Tomorrow and Angel Olsen’s dreamy All Mirrors.

Six years after her debut, Sky Ferreira returned with the haunting ‘Downhill Lullaby’ – a taste of things to come? And Marina (of the Diamonds) captured the spirit of our uncertain times with ‘To Be Human’, from her Love + Fear album.

As this decade draws to a close, many musicians I grew up are now writing their memoirs. Prince’s unfinished The Beautiful Ones and Andrew Ridgeley’s Wham! George and Me are poignant reminders of what we’ve lost, while Debbie Harry’s Face It and Tricky’s Hell Is Round the Corner offer lively testaments from artists with plenty more to give.

With a biopic and documentary currently in the works, Billie Holiday is a voice for this century as much as the last. Paolo Parisi’s graphic novel, Blues for Lady Day, gives a faithful rendering of her brilliant, if troubled life; while Billie Holiday: The Last Interview and Other Conversations is an invaluable resource, allowing the lady to speak for herself.

And finally in music books, two masterpieces from very different women in sixties music have been added to the 33⅓ roster: Golden Hits of the Shangri-Las, and Odetta’s One Grain of Sand.