Wikipedia:WikiProject Musicians/Article guidelines

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Page layout[edit]

Suggested layout. This is a guide only and editors are free to organise articles differently.

  • Lead – a summary of the article, as guided by WP:LEAD; infobox placed here
  • Early life/Origins – covering parents, birth, childhood and significant developments up to start of career – or the forming of the band if the article is on a band
  • Career/History – events relevant to the musical career and/or events that sprung from it – for example movie cameos, modelling
    • Subheadings that divide the career by era, album, musical changes, etc.
  • Significant works – some musicians have significant works that may be worth dealing with in a separate section, though usually significant works are dealt with as a sub-section of the Career/History section, so they remain in chronological order
  • Live performances/Tours
  • Influence – a summary of the impact and importance of the musician/band
  • Musical style – a summary of the sort of music played/written/performed by the musician/band – if the music style was new, then it should be also mentioned in Legacy
  • Musicianship – the musical skills and talents or notable features of the musician/band, this may also include the notable instruments the musician/band plays or is associated with
  • Personal lifeverifiable paparazzi fodder (marriage, children, illnesses, etc.)
  • "Significant event" Many artists have some huge, life-altering overshadowing event or events that need their own subheading. Examples: Michael Jackson and the child-molestation charges, Drew Lachey on "Dancing with the Stars," or Kylie Minogue and her breast cancer. Such a subheading could go here.
  • Selected events – miscellanea like arrests, participation in famous events, a one-time gig in another field (like a movie or sporting event), a one-time humanitarian effort, some newsworthy item
  • Death - if the artist's death is notable, and there is enough material, a separate section may be created and placed at the end of the career section(s); otherwise, the artist's death is dealt with in the final Career section, and may be mentioned in the title as in "Later life and death"
  • Legacy - a section summarising what reliable sources say about the impact and importance of the artist's career to date. This is commonly placed at the end of both Career and Personal life sections if there are both
  • Personnel – (for bands)
  • Discography – see below
  • Awards
    • Award categorization (either by year, or by award – Grammy, MTV Music Award, Oscar)
  • See also
  • Notes – per WP:Inline Citations
  • References – per WP:CITE
  • External links – see below and WP:External links
  • Categories – an artist should only have their own category if they have at least 15 directly relevant articles (this includes album and single pages), 10 images and 10 musical samples

Discography section[edit]

Musicians who have released a significant amount of work should be given their own discography articles. These articles should follow the guidelines given by WikiProject Discographies. The discography section of the musician's primary article should link to the separate discography article using the {{main}} template, for example: {{main|Johnny Cash discography}}.

The discography section of the musician's primary article should also provide a summary of the musician's major works. In most cases this is done using a simple list of their studio albums, leaving a complete listing of releases to the discography article. For example, Mariah Carey#Discography lists:

Live and compilation albums, EPs, singles, etc. should generally not be included.

If a musician has released an extremely large number of albums, it may be better to describe their discography in a prose summary. See, for example, Tangerine Dream#Discography.

For artists without separate discography pages, relevant discographical information, such as record labels, date(s) of release, chart positions, and sales certifications, may be included in the discography section. The use of a table may be advisable to keep the information readable and organized.

For further examples of good discography sections, see U2#Discography or Alice in Chains#Discography.

Classical composer discography (recordings) section: Mohamed Abdelwahab Abdelfattah#Recordings. Note also that articles on compositions may have discography sections, e.g. Bach's church music in Latin#Discography.

External links[edit]


Interviews, such as those published in magazines and online music journals, can be valuable sources of information on a musical artist. However, Wikipedia is not a collection of links, and linking numerous interviews in an "External links" section is not useful to a reader. Avoid adding links to interviews in External links sections, and instead find ways to incorporate information from the interview into the body of the article, linking the interview in an accompanying citation.