Wikidata:Property proposal/billed artist

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release artist[edit]

Originally proposed at Wikidata:Property proposal/Creative work

Descriptionmusical artist who is labelled as a primary contributor to this work
Data typeItem
Template parameter"artist" in w:en:Template:Infobox album
Domainmusical work (Q2188189)
Allowed valueshuman (Q5), musical ensemble (Q2088357), group of humans (Q16334295)
Example 1Break Free (Q17309667)Ariana Grande (Q151892)
Example 2Break Free (Q17309667)Zedd (Q21088) (qualifier: object has role (P3831)featuring (Q3546919))
Example 3Popular Song (Q7229734)Mika (Q186329)
Planned usebot duplication or replacement of performer (P175) on musical works
See alsoperformer (P175)


Currently, performer (P175) is used on items for music releases and tracks to represent the artists whose names are listed on the cover (i.e. the primary artist(s) and the featured artist(s)), rather than the actual list of performers (i.e. session musicians, band members and background vocalists). This property would separate those two different uses to make it possible to more clearly indicate what someone actually did for a musical work. Jc86035 (talk) 09:34, 31 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • While it would be possible to create a property for featured artists and another for main artists, I think it would be better to use one property with qualifiers so that some relationships (e.g. "Artist A vs. Artist B", "Main Artist with Other Artist"; series ordinal (P1545)) can be indicated more clearly without having to create new properties or using qualifiers confusingly. Jc86035 (talk) 09:40, 31 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  •  Support I support this of course, but I would suggest another name than "billed artist", billing/top billing are terms commonly used in reference to concerts, musicals, etc. What about "release artist" or "recording artist"? Moebeus (talk) 11:33, 31 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  •  Support David (talk) 07:29, 1 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  •  Oppose no need to duplicate performer (P175), just use object has role (P3831): main artist, featured artist Germartin1 (talk) 13:24, 1 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  •  Oppose per Germartin1. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:57, 2 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Andy Mabbett @Germartin1 "performer" is not the same thing as "release artist". Performer probably comes from the musical/theater people, what we need is a property related to what is printed on the cover of singles, albums, etc. Mozart, Bach, Gershwin - these people are not the performers. But they might be the release artists. (EDIT: Gershwin might be a performer of course, but you get what I mean ;-) Moebeus (talk) 01:39, 3 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Then use composer (P86). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:54, 3 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • @Pigsonthewing: That's just not accurate at all. In popular music the "release artist" (main/featured artist) could be the main vocalist, one of the producers (e.g. Break Free), or even someone whose voice is sampled briefly. Usually the "main artist" label doesn't apply to all of the producers (Break Free was produced by Zedd and Max Martin), all of the songwriters (Break Free was written by Ariana Grande, Zedd, Martin and Savan Kotecha), or even all of the vocalists (Popular Song has main vocals by Priscilla Renea as well as Mika). Jc86035 (talk) 07:40, 4 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Please provide a link to an item where Mozart, Bach, or Gershwin is "the main vocalist, one of the producers, or even someone whose voice is sampled briefly". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:39, 4 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • @Pigsonthewing: My comment below discusses the case for not attaching the qualifiers to composer (P86). My point above was not, obviously, that Mozart or Bach would have been performers in recordings of their music. Jc86035 (talk) 18:31, 5 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
            • I am able to read, so when you wrote "these people are not the performers", I was able to understand that your point was not that they were. What you did say, though, was that "Mozart, Bach, Gershwin... might be the release artists". You have yet to provide an example where - other then being the music's composer - this is the case. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:55, 5 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
              • @Pigsonthewing: There are the albums by Milli Vanilli, for example (since the duo did not actually creatively contribute, but are nevertheless deemed the release artist), and it might be tenuous to call Gorillaz performers due to the majority of listed band members being fictional characters. Moebeus has noted other examples below. Jc86035 (talk) 11:36, 6 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
                • I'm pretty sure neither Mozart nor Bach were in Milli Vanilli. Was Gershwin? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:24, 6 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
                  • I don't understand what you're trying to say – I wrote "in popular music" to specifically indicate that I wasn't implying that Mozart or Bach would have done those things. I hope it is clear enough that this proposed property wouldn't apply to compositions by classical composers, and should only apply to releases of their music where they, in place of or in addition to performers, are explicitly stated to be the primary artist.
                  • What I was trying to say was that neither of the members on Milli Vanilli (nor the fictional members of Gorillaz) could have been credited as creative contributors to their songs, which would mean that the qualifier approach wouldn't work because none of the existing properties would be applicable. Jc86035 (talk) 08:41, 8 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • For classical music (as in, the compositions themselves), I would think usually there is no need for a "release artist" distinction because the only contributor is the composer. On the other hand, for recorded music – particularly for recordings of classical music and releases like film soundtracks and Broadway cast recordings – there is probably still at least one release artist, but it might not necessarily match the composer or even the performers. Especially if a release is credited to "various artists", or some artist(s) in particular and also "various artists", this property would be useful because the entity various artists (Q3108914) cannot actually have contributed to the creative work. Jc86035 (talk) 07:55, 4 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • The Muppets, The Smurfs, Walt Disney.... There are countless examples where the release artist is not the composer, nor even necessarily the performer. This would be useful. Are there any examples of why it might be bad? I welcome any effort to help WD better cover music and this is definitely a step in the right direction imo. Moebeus (talk) 22:36, 5 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  •  Comment I've marked the proposal as withdrawn, since the discussion has stalled with no clear consensus. Jc86035 (talk) 14:43, 22 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]