Suitability of links for ambiguous artist names

Hi - I’m a Plex user, and I’m here because my media server picked up Musicbrainz data, specifically related to the Boston-based alt-rock band Belly. You may be aware there is another popular artist named Belly, who is a Palestinian-Canadian rapper. The photo that shows up in Plex is of the rapper, even though all the music (and the bio and other metadata) all has to do with the Boston band.

As far as I can tell, the source of this photo is It seems has a structural flaw that prevents them from having separate pages for artists with the same name, and it has existed for years (see references below). It would seem to me that in those cases, links are a bad fit for Musicbrainz’s purpose, which is to catalog accurate data related to specific artists. Should I delete this link? Or is this a known situation, and someone has decided that the pollution of the data is tolerable in order to have an exhaustive list of links? Or is considered such a popular source that people are choosing to live with the inadequacy of their data?

I started out wanting to correct this flaw at the source, but it appears getting to fix it isn’t possible. I defer to the experienced community here if I should pursue this here or just put my own artist artwork manually in Plex. :wink:

Reddit: There’s another artist or band with the same name? - Tips, Guides, and FAQs - Support Community


welcome to the forums, dludwig~

I believe linking them is the better option, and you could add an annotation like I did for Alex S. it happens more often than you might think~ :melting_face:

a possible solution would be to use as a source for artist images. if I remember correctly, they use MBIDs to match the correct artist. I don’t know offhand if Plex supports natively, as I haven’t used it :wink:

Thanks. Yes, there are a couple of ways I could override the image Plex is picking by default, but my assumption is that anyone using Plex must be getting the same image when adding the band to their library, and I thought it would be ideal to fix the issue permanently rather than use a workaround. I’ve also suggested on Plex’s forums that perhaps they shouldn’t rely on as a primary artwork source (you can override with local artwork in a jpg, but there is some internal algorithm that dictates where the primary artist artwork is sourced in the absence of that).

Interesting though that the Alex S. page on Musicbrainz does not have a link for the artist. does seem to have a page for Alex S (as well as Alex S.), so clearly it’s not a given that will be linked on all Musicbrainz pages. Maybe deleting the Belly link isn’t such a bad idea?

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Hi @dludwig, I was in your conversation at Plex too.

I mentioned this over there, but it wouldn’t hurt folks here to know too: Plex sends all metadata requests to MusicBrainz, and depends on MB to gather what’s needed from sources like Last.FM, AllMusic, and others. Plex prefers album covers from MB, other images (posters, artist images, backgrounds, etc.) from, and bio info from AllMusic, but will fall back to other sources, like Last.FM, if the preferred source doesn’t have it.

Using Belly as an example:

  1. MB’s artist record for Belly doesn’t have an external link to, but it does have a link to Last.FM. As @UltimateRiff and @outsidecontext point out below, this link isn’t needed. So the final answer is…
  2. I checked, and they don’t have an image for Belly.

So that’s why Plex is getting the artist image from Last.FM. In order for Plex to get the artist image from, an external link has to be added to the MB artist record, AND an image for the band must be uploaded to Plex won’t know about it until its next refresh, which happens every 3 or 4 days, I think. But after that, Plex should correctly grab the artist image from, via MusicBrainz.


I was more referring to the Spotify page, which includes music from at least two different Alex S’s, a similar example to the issue.

but yeah, is not a super common link on artist pages. I don’t use it, so I usually forget to add them myself.

I don’t think a link to is required on MusicBrainz… at least, I’ve never noticed any such links, and I had a lot of artwork from there when I used Kodi for a couple months… I could be wrong tho, I’m not super familiar with

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I don’t think we add links to uses MusicBrainz IDs for artists and release groups, so all that should be needed is adding the artist with pictures to

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Ah, that’s good to know. I have an account on fanart from years ago, but I’ve never used it – I just assumed a link had to be added.

I’ve always thought adding relationships was weird - as doesn’t distinguish between artists of the same name you could basically just automate a relationship on every MB page pointing to:[musicbrainz artist name]

Especially since recommends using MB for tags/artist names.

Anyway, I wouldn’t vote yes on deleting the relationship to, which is as correct as it can ever be - but according to the above you can add a pic to and you’re away :partying_face:

Thanks all. Yes, on visiting I also noticed the lack of an Artist Thumb there, so I’m working on getting one uploaded. Hopefully that ends up in the Plex data stream whenever they refresh their sources on these photos. Appreciate all the insight!

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