Many solo musicians use (several) names/pseudonyms. How should we handle the tags for these artists?

  • One tag per person?
  • One tag per name?
  • One tag per name, but all would be synonyms for a canonical tag?

Example: Norman Cook

He was born as "Quentin Leo Cook", is now called "Norman Quentin Cook" (but more often "Norman Cook"), is very well known under his stage name "Fatboy Slim", well known as "The Brighton Port Authority", also known as "Son of a Cheeky Boy" … and has many more names.

  • 3
    Synonyms for the major names makes sense to me Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 7:01
  • Are you trying to use tags like search terms? Major artist tags should be OK, but for others, that is what the search engine is for.
    – user3169
    Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 18:30
  • Springsteen too. No need for springsteen, bruce-springsteen, bruce-springsteen-and-the-e-street-band, etc... As well as John (Cougar) Mellencamp. Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 14:17

3 Answers 3


I believe we should have a tag for the most known name of the artist.

Like, John Francis Anthony Pastorius III was famously known as Jaco Pastorius.

That is why I created a tag and not .

We could created synonyms for the artists' other names, but I don't see much point in creating a tag for every pseudonym they have every created.

If they have become famous under two or more pseudonyms, then yes why not.

  • I created an example question. On this project "The BPA", "Norman Cook" is listed as artist, not "Fatboy Slim". But the pseudonym "Fatboy Slim" is (most likely) the most known name of the artist Norman Cook (used as a tag for the questions that are about works of Fatboy Slim). So you’d propose to use fatboy-slim even for this example question, although neither the project (The BPA) nor the artist (Norman Cook) refer to "Fatboy Slim" in this context?
    – unor
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 22:00
  • 1
    @unor I'd like to see only one master tag per artist. In Norman Cook's case, I think the name "Norman Cook" is the most inclusive name, so I'd say make "norman-cook" the master tag, and make "fatboy-slim" a synonym tag. It's a weak preference, though. "fatboy-slim" would be okay for the master tag as well. But I think there is value in having only one tag and having all questions about Norman Cook grouped together.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 3:21

Tags, I believe, should be emergent. There's no real point in pre-creating tags for artists and aliases before someone has come along to ask about them. When they do, either they'll use the existing tag (which is great), they'll create a new tag for a different alias (at which point the community can retag, or create a synonym), or leave it untagged (if they don't have the rep to create a tag), which, again, will fall to the community to tag.

Either way, I think we should see how people tag.

  • Agreed. An index without content is meaningless.
    – user3169
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 20:07
  • 1
    My intention was not to discuss if we should create tags proactively (AFAIK tags without questions get deleted automatically unless they get a tag description also), but which way to follow when we need them. I created several artist tags on this site, but I think a community decision is important for those cases where a solo artist has several pseudonyms (under which music is published).
    – unor
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 21:31

I think that if someone uses a specific pseudonym, this actually helps to answer the question as the question might be closely related and/or depend on the particular pseudonym used.

For example, music producer Terre Thaemlitz is also known as DJ Sprinkles. Some people might now a lot about his musical output as Terre Thaemlitz (ambient, experimental music), but others might know a lot more about his DJ Sprinkles releases (deep house) and not know much about his other work.

To be honest, I don't think this should be an issue, everything should be fine.

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