Style/Artist/Aliases

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Status: This is an official style guideline.

Localised names

The locale should be used to capture the official name as normally used in a particular language and/or country.

An artist can only have one localised name for each locale. If there is more than one, use the most recent name for an artist. If multiple names are used in an interchangeable manner, use the most common one. Other names can still be added as aliases without a locale.

The locale should not be more specific than it needs to be, so the country should only be included when necessary, e.g. If an artist name is the same in all English speaking countries, "English" with no country is sufficient. If the name is normally the same, but is different (usually for legal reasons) in certain countries, then the country should only be used to identify where the name is different from the usual name for that language.

Examples

When to use aliases

There are many cases where using aliases is appropriate:

  1. Misspellings:
    These are the most common, and function as a simplistic automatic spelling corrector
    e.g. Led Zepplin = Led Zeppelin
  2. Variants:
    An artist may use several similar names interchangeably without making a distinction, from release to release
    e.g. Hootie and the Blowfish = Hootie & the Blowfish; Monty Python's Flying Circus = Monty Python
  3. Numbers:
    Even if the artist prefers spelled out or numerical form, they may or may not be spelled out by users
    e.g. The 3 Tenors = The Three Tenors
  4. Stylized Names:
    Many artists feel a need to spell their names with strange spacing, odd characters and punctuation, etc.
    e.g. NSync = 'N Sync
  5. Missing Titles:
    Artists add or drop titles, monikers and/or articles from their names
    e.g. The Sex Pistols = Sex Pistols; Tiësto = DJ Tiësto; Cheb Khaled = Khaled
  6. Acronyms:
    Artists with long and unwieldy names are often better known by their acronyms, and may use them on their release covers
    e.g. B.D.P. = BDP = Boogie Down Productions
  7. Initials:
    Overlaps somewhat with acronyms, but there are sometimes middle initials not generally used in the artist's name
    e.g. J.S. Bach = Johann Sebastian Bach
  8. Incomplete Names:
    When credited as "Strauss", it's usually Johan Strauss II and not Richard or one of the others that is intended
    e.g. Strauss = Johann Strauss II
  9. Lead Performers:
    Sting is a member of The Police - it is not a collaboration, and the band does not officially include his name in theirs, however compilations often list featured members explicitly by name in this way
    e.g. Sting & The Police = The Police
  10. Misencodings:
    Artist names entered in FreeDB using non-UTF-8 encodings; these are somewhat like typos, but in non-Unicode locales, these may in fact be more accurate than an automatic conversion from UTF-8
    e.g. ©PªN­Û­ = Jay Chou
  11. Localization:
    While English-speakers are used to "Tchaikovsky", he is known elsewhere in the world by different spellings
    e.g. Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski = Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  12. Transliterations:
    There are often several ways to transliterate non-Roman characters according to different standards
    e.g. Jay Chow = Jay Chou
  13. "Translated" Names:
    Many Asian artists have "English" names in addition to their given "Chinese" or "Japanese" etc. names - in some cases, the artists prefer the English name even in non-English text
    e.g. Chou Jie Lun = Jay Chou
  14. Legal Changes:
    Artists are often forced to change their names for legal reasons, sometimes only in part of the world
    e.g. Yaz = Yazoo.

When not to use aliases

You should not use aliases for performance names which are entered separately in the database. See the page about artists with multiple names for more information.


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