Cat Stevens→Yusuf Islam merge

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Just a heads up that I’ve created a merge for Cat Stevens into Yusuf Islam:

Motivation etc. given in edit note. Posting here as a heads-up since they seem to be somewhat prominent. (I haven’t heard of them outside of MB stuff, but they seem to come somewhat frequently in MB related discussions.)


Submitted my vote over there, but you really haven’t heard of him? Shame on you! Go listen to Tea for the Tillerman! :stuck_out_tongue:

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I know Cat Stevens of course but not that other weirdo name.
Isn’t it kind of strange to merge a famous name into unknown one?

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I think it’s usual to merge an old unused name into a currently-used one when they refer to the same thing.

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Are there more notable albums as Yusuf?


In December 1977, Stevens converted to Islam and he adopted the name Yusuf Islam.
In 2006, he returned to pop music – releasing his first album of new pop songs in 28 years. With that release and subsequent ones, he dropped the surname “Islam” from the album cover art – using the stage name Yusuf.


So we have

  • Cat Stevens, very famous name music‐wise
  • Yusuf Islam, relatively unknown singer career
  • Yusuf, the current name of the above

I would merge because Yusuf is even now credited as Cat Stevens on some official concert posters — as seen somewhere in this interview video. Not really a side project, just a name change for god’s sake.

I would also merge in the direction given by @Freso’s edit as it targets the oldest MBID (initially created as Cat Stevens btw). Edit #443 - Edit artist

I would even also rename the target to Yusuf (current name) or Cat Stevens (the only notable/famous enough name).

Voting yes.


I think this merge makes perfect sense. Cat Stevens and Yusuf Islam is clearly the same person.

Artist intent can be respected by suitable artist credits. And name aliases (+ maybe improved integration into the user interface) should stop people from recreating the missing artist again and again.

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Thanks for your notice, @spitzwegerich, I indeed forgot to vote, ha ha.
I am the only one who think maybe we should rename target to Cat Stevens, because this is still the name most people will look after?
For instance this official 2011-05-26 Bercy concert poster where they did print small yusuf and big CAT STEVENS (as it’s still the only name we know him as, in France mainstream at least).

Poll for target artist name

  • Cat Stevens
  • Yusuf Islam
  • Yusuf
  • Other (explain)

0 voters


As anyone following the edit discussion will know, I strongly oppose the merge. If it does go through, though, I do think we should change the name back to “Cat Stevens”. I remember someone saying that the target is the older MBID, but that somewhere along the line the name was changed and then the current Cat Stevens entity was created.

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@jesus2099: Did you notice that in the link you posted the interviewer of France3 asks Yusuf “Are you going to sing songs by Cat Stevens?”, which suggests if not a split personality :wink: at least a split career with two (or maybe 3) very distinct entities. I believe MusicBrainz should reflect this reality by keeping these entities separate – much more so than for a musical “side project” as stated in the guidelines.

Should this merge pass (which I hope not) of course the main entry should remain Cat Stevens for all the reasons given above…


It would be very unusual for an artist to be listed under a name other than the most current one, wouldn’t it?


Hard to say. I can see making an argument for most current name, most popular name, or legal name. I change my mind on this all the time.

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Poll is biased as it does not have an option for keeping Cat Stevens and Yusuf Islam separate.


That option exists in Freso’s edit.


The people arguing for or against the merge here, please redirect that discussion to the edit and the edit notes. Part of my rationale for making the edit, is so that there is an edit to refer back to in the future, regardless of whether or not it passes. 10 years from now, this forum may have been lost like the old one (hopefully not!!), but the edits and edit notes should still be available, so make sure all arguments are presented in those.


Which is why it should have been an option in the poll here.


It talks about “target artist name”. “Target artist” doesn’t make sense if they’re not merged. And it doesn’t make sense to make a poll about whether to merge them or not either, there’s already an edit that effectively is that poll. If that edit doesn’t get applied, then there’s no “target artist” and @jesus2099’s poll is irrelevant. If you feel that strongly about it, just don’t vote on it.


To give my perspective, not having “keep them unmerged” allows everybody to safely cast their vote here regardless of which side of the merge debate you’re on. If that were an option, I wouldn’t be able to say that, assuming the edit does happen to go through, I think we should rename the single entity to Cat Stevens, because I’d need to reiterate my opposition.