Too many artist entries for the same person?

I am open to artists having more than one entry if needed. But I am curious as to when is too many.
I recently ran into a DJ that had 7 entries. And those are the entries/names I am aware of. There may be more.

Each artist has less than 3 releases, some only have as little as one song that appear on a compilation or as a featuring on someone’s album. Many of them interlink “John Smith presents Little Jimmy”, or John Smith produced the Little Jimmy album - where John Smith and Little Jimmy are actually the same person. And then there is an entry for the legal name for songwriting credits, and to link them all together with the “performs as” feature.

In cases like this, would it make more sense to have one entry, such as the legal name, and then use aliases and “credited as” for the various artist names?

What is the cutoff between acceptable and excessive.


I don’t usually have separate artists, I tend to use artist credit except when some people are against it.

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If I am creating an artist, I keep it as one entry.
But in this particular instance (and there have been others), these entries already existed on MB. I was simply filling in some of the missing information.

I think things like that just happen. People want to credit a release or recording to an artist, but there is no entry by the name they know yet, so they create a new one. Then someone links them with a legal name, people see it an think that this is how it’s done.

According to the guidelines there should only be different entries if they are different projects (they give an example that Snoop Dogg has a reagga persona).

I’d say even if an artist has releases under different names that doesn’t mean they are different projects.
E.g. Daniel Dumile famously releases music under multiple aliases. Some of them he uses as a rapper, some as a producer and some as both, but they are all hip-hop project and I would merge them.

Diddy/Puff Daddy/Sean “Puffy” Combs/… also has multiple aliases and seems to change his name more often than he creates new music, but he only has one entry, which is much more convenient.


But it isn’t a case (for this specific instance) of “I didn’t know they were the same” because someone had added the “performs as” link to some of them.

And being a DJ, they will often use “mood” names. Don’t ask me to be too specific, because I don’t understand how pressing play on a cd player is considered a musical skill. But this is what I have been told - a DJ will put out albums under different names based on the “mood” of the music.

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Just like Garth Brooks is wont to do :wink:

They should only be merged if you are sure that they are not truly different musical projects.

But what is a project when it is just one person sitting in front of a “beat machine” putting out 60 minute albums every 62 minutes?
20 albums and the occassional “featuring” in 5 years scattered between 7 artist names, plus a legal name for songwriting credits. Where do we draw the line?
Bands I understand, because that is a group of people. A mega-star like Garth Brooks putting out a rock album as Chris Gaines, I can understand. I’ve even seen guys that play (as example) rock guitar under one name in various bands, but they sing, produce, and play country and classical under a different name in other bands, I can understand that.
But when it is just one guy doing EDM. Is lite tempo EDM that different from brain drain EDM?

I am just wondering when it becomes overkill.

As of now, nowhere. We follow artist intent and have no notability requirements.

I have no idea who Garth Brooks is by the way, and you won’t know bands I consider absolutely pivotal, which is why you’re not going to be able to convince me otherwise.

What is certainly important is good annotations, disambiguations, and ‘performs as’ relationships.


I don’t know Garth Brooks and I guess your case is special, since it seems like the artist considers the different names different projects even though they might be the same or similar genres. In such a case I’d also consider it artist intent.

In hip hop (where I do most of my editing) the artists usually make it very easy to determine between aliases and projects: If “Redman” on a “Redman” album says “Reggie Noble on the mic” 50 times, then “Reggie Noble” is an alias.
If a hip hop artist has a side project you’ll probably not hear about it for a long time even if you consider yourself a die-hard fan, because they never talk about it and there is no mention on the official site.

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Can someone verify for me here? Is there currently a policy about this?
I’ve recently had artists I created merged – and I feel chastised as a result. Apparently someone thinks it was wrong of me to create separate artist entries for the two different performance names of the artist.

(relatedly – I get “edits for your subscriptions” messages just about one a day — and there’s on average a half-dozen edits listed in each message – I don’t always spot the ones that I should care about – so I didn’t notice the merge request until it had already passed )

There is:

Performance names and legal names

Generally, use the name the artist mainly performs under as the artist name. Alternative names, including any legal names and name variations, should generally be entered as aliases, and can be used in artist credits and relationship credits when appropriate.

The Prodigy have an alias of (and some releases credited to) "Prodigy".
t.A.T.u. were originally known as "Тату" in Russia (they later used "t.A.T.u." everywhere).
Yazoo are known as "Yaz" in the USA after a lawsuit from another American artist called Yazoo.

In some cases, a person (or, more rarely, a group) can perform under multiple names that they actually consider different projects, and not just alternative names. In that case, you should add each artist separately. If they’re a person, a separate legal name artist should be added, and linked to all performance names with the is person (“performs as”) relationship. In this case, do not add legal name aliases to the performance names. For groups, just link each group to their members.

Tomoko Kawase performs under two different personas, with different styles: Tommy february⁶ and Tommy heavenly⁶.
Calvin Broadus is most known as Snoop Dogg, but has a reggae side project, Snoop Lion.

And that’s the shortest time-frame you can set it to (In profile → preferences). The other options are weekly or never. I use never and instead check Log in - MusicBrainz as often as I like.


10 posts were split to a new topic: Missing important(/destructive) edits for subscribed artists / How to handle many artist subscriptions

9 posts were split to a new topic: “Big” names in “big” (music) genres