In the wake of the news that The White Stripes have split up, we've put together a special tribute issue to Jack and Meg. Make no mistake, this is the passing of one of the greatest bands of all time, and we take a look back at their records, live performances and interviews, and assess the reasons why they've called it a day....

Also in the issue we travel up to Sunderland to discover Frankie and the Heartstrings jumping with joy over their imminent, Edwyn Collins-produced debut album...

...and we have an exclusive interview with new rap legend Nicky Minaj. Serious superstar this one, and very funny too...

Along with that we visit Best Coast on the set of their new video, join up with The Vaccines, Everything Everything, Magnetic Man and Crystal Castles on the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour 2011, and review the incredible new PJ Harvey album.

All that alongside our huge live section, gig guide and new bands news.

If this issue were a biscuit, it'd be a custard cream. It's THAT good.

Subscribe to NME here, or get this week's digital issue for your iPad, laptop or home computer.

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