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Determining the Sort Name

When determing the sort name/title for a band, artist, album or song, here are some rules of thumb we follow.

A, An, The

  • Drop "A", "An" or "The" from the beginning of the sort name.
Band Name Sort Name
The Doors Doors
The Beatles Beatles
The The The
A Perfect Circle Perfect Circle


Band Name Sort Name
A-Ha A Ha
A*Teens A Teens
  • Album and song titles follow this same pattern.

Non-English Names & Titles

  • For non-English languages, drop the equivalent modifier: El, La, Los, Le, L' and so on.
Band Name Sort Name
El Mariachi de la Ciudad de Pepe Villela Mariachi de la Ciudad de Pepe Villela
La Gusana Ciega Gusana Ciega
Los Lonely Boys Lonely Boys
Les Ambassadeurs Ambassadeurs
L'Aura Aura
Le Roi Soleil Roi Soleil


Band Name Sort Name
The El Dorados El Dorados
A 50s doowop group.
  • Change accented characters to standard english characters to prevent the items from being sorted to the very bottom of the list.
Song Name Sort Name
Jävla Bengt Javla Bengt
Hüftschwung Huftschwung
Le Rétor De Malek Sultan Retor De Malek Sultan

Proper Names

  • If the name is a proper name for an artist, the sort name should present the last name first, with no comma.
Band Name Sort Name
Ella Fitzgerald Fitzgerald Ella
Louis Armstrong Armstrong Louis
Paul McCartney McCartney Paul
Ben Folds Folds Ben
Eddie Van Halen Van Halen Eddie
Mary Tyler Moore Moore Mary Tyler
Bobby "Boris" Pickett Pickett Bobby Boris
Frank and Nancy Sinatra Sinatra Frank and Nancy


Band Name Sort Name
Jethro Tull Jethro Tull
It's a band, not a person.
Grandmaster Flash Grandmaster Flash
"Flash" is not his last name.
MC Hammer Mc Hammer
"Hammer" is not his last name.

  • If an album or song title is a proper name, the title is sorted as written.
Song Name Sort Name
Brian Wilson Brian Wilson
by the Barenaked Ladies

  • If the artist is a "Jr" or "III", place the suffix after the first name.
Band Name Sort Name
Sammy Davis, Jr. Davis Sammy Jr
Hank Williams Williams Hank
Hank Williams, Jr. Williams Hank Jr

  • If an artist uses only their first two initials, include each initial as a separate word.
Band Name Sort Name
J.J. Johnson Johnson J J
k.d. lang Lang K D

  • If the band is named after a primary artist, that artist's last name is used first, followed by the first name(s), followed by the band's designation.
Band Name Sort Name
Steve Miller Band Miller Steve Band
Jimi Hendrix Experience Hendrix Jimi Experience
Manfred Mann's Earth Band Manns Manfred Earth Band
Frank Zappa and the Mothers Zappa Frank And The Mothers
Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers Lymon Frankie And The Teenagers
Ben Folds Five Folds Ben Five
J. Geils Band Geils J Band

Punctuation & Case

  • If a band name includes punctuation, drop the punctuation in the sort name. Ampersands should be spelled out as "and".
Band Name Sort Name
Lovin' Spoonful Lovin Spoonful
A-Ha A Ha
T. Rex T Rex
*NSYNC Nsync
Earth, Wind & Fire Earth Wind And Fire

  • MediaWiki sorts based on the ASCII character set, which means that capital letters always come before lowercase letters, regardless of where they fall in the alphabet. Given this limitation, to ensure proper sorting, words in sort names should always begin with a capital letter and be followed by all lowercase letters.
Band Name Sort Name
REO Speedwagon Reo Speedwagon
ZZ Top Zz Top
OutKast Outkast
KC & the Sunshine Band Kc And The Sunshine Band
  • Album and song titles follow the same patterns.


  • Popular acronyms for bands should not be used. The full band name should be used for both filing and sorting.
Band Name Sort Name
ICP Insane Clown Posse
ELP Emerson Lake And Palmer
BTO Bachman Turner Overdrive
ELO Electric Light Orchestra
CSNY Crosby Stills Nash And Young

  • If the name or title is actually an acronym, use the acronym.
Band Name Sort Name
H.I.M. Him
R.E.M. Rem
  • Album and song titles follow this same pattern.


  • Names or titles with numbers should include the numbers as-is.
Band Name Sort Name
U2 U2
311 311
3rd Bass 3rd Bass
Blink-182 Blink 182
The Jackson 5 Jackson 5
10,000 Maniacs 10000 Maniacs
The 5th Dimension 5th Dimension
  • Album and song titles follow this same pattern.

Determining the Sort Letter

  • The "sort letter" is the first letter of the Sort Name (after following all the rules).
  • If the sort name or title begins with a number, use the string "0-9" instead of a single letter or number.