Difference between revisions of "User:Hawke/Proposal/artists with multiple names"

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In circumstances other than [[#Performance Names|performance names]], above, avoid creating a separate artist for the legal name.
In circumstances other than [[#Performance Names|performance names]], above, avoid creating a separate artist for the legal name.
====Unusual cases====
There may be some unusual cases where the guidelines above do not fit. In these cases, use your best judgement.
* Cat Stevens was a performance name for Steven Demetre Georgiou. In 1978, he changed his legal name to Yusuf Islam. He still performed briefly as Cat Stevens, and then took a long hiatus. Later he returned to performing, under his new legal name.
==Sort name==
==Sort name==

Revision as of 23:06, 21 August 2012

Status: This page describes an active style guideline proposal and is not official.

Proposal number: RFC-Unassigned
Champion: Hawke
Current status: pre-RFC


The artist name is the official name of an artist, whether it is a person or a band. In most cases, it is the name as found on releases.

Note that you can change how an artist is credited on a release or track when you enter that release. There is usually no need to add a new artist to the database if the artist is already present in our database under a (slightly) different name.

Multiple Names

Some artists may have several names. In some cases the additional names should be treated as different artists. In other cases they should merely be Artist Credits or aliases.

Performance Names

Sometimes an artist uses a different name for different projects, different contexts, or due to a lineup change or a change in musical genre. These should usually be treated as separate artists. Link them with "Performs as" ARs to a common artist representing the artist’s legal name, or to the artist’s current name if they perform under their legal name


Name variations

Sometimes an artist spells their name differently on different releases, without any particular artist intent to the change, or they are legally obligated to change their name, sometimes only in one geographical area. In this case, Artist Credits are sufficient. The main artist name should be set to the most recent/current name.


  • John Mellencamp performed initially as Johnny Cougar at the urging of his management, and gradually moved away from that name.
  • Oysterband performed initially as "Oyster Ceilidh Band", then released a few albums as "Oyster Band" and "The Oyster Band" and finally became "Oysterband" (even re-releasing older albums under the new name)
  • The Prodigy are occasionally credited simply as "Prodigy"
  • 少年ナイフ releases albums as "Shonen Knife" in the US.
  • David Bowie performed first as Davy Jones.
  • Big City Orchestra seems to use a different (mis-)spelling for every release.
  • The Czechoslovak Radio Symphony Orchestra became the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra after the breakup of Czechoslovakia.

Legal name changes

Sometimes an artist changes their legal name, and then performs under the new name. In most cases, this should be an Artist Credit, with the main name being the most recent/current legal name.

Even if the artist does not perform under the new name, it can still be added as an Alias of type “Legal name”; probably with a year range included.


  • Lily Allen changed her name to Lily Rose Cooper when she got married.
  • June Carter became June Carter Cash when she got married.
  • Wendy Carlos was named Walter Carlos prior to a sex change

Legal name as artist

In circumstances other than performance names, above, avoid creating a separate artist for the legal name.

Sort name

See the guideline for sortnames.

Disambiguation comment

Disambiguation comments should be kept fairly short, with just enough information that someone reading it will recognize the artist they're looking for. The comment field is not a place to store general background information about the artist, that kind of information should go in the artist's annotation.


  • Randy Jackson has the disambiguation comment "Brother of Michael and Janet."
  • Randy Jackson has the disambiguation comment "Former bassist with Journey and American Idol Judge"


For people, use the country where they were born and raised. For groups, use the country where the band was formed. If the artist is predominantly active in a different country, use that country instead.



Use the gender the artist identifies as. Use "other" if the artist identifies as something other than "male" or "female".

The "other" gender option is meant to represent a gender that is neither male nor female, and is not intended for use with entities for which the concept of gender is illogical, such as companies.


See the guideline for aliases.

Title Style
Special Cases/Misc.