The most extreme example of how little meaning the “Artist” has:
John “Jellybean” Benitez had 2 fairly big hits in 1987 with “Who Found Who” and “The Real Thing” on which he was credited as the Artist. At the time, much was made about what he DIDN’T do on these records, he didn’t Write, Arrange, Produce, Play, Program or Sing anything on these records. His contribution was described as “a feel thing”.
The 80’s/90’s dance music act called Change didn’t actually exist as a group in any sense whatsoever. The first hits were actually sung by American session vocalists (including Luther Vandross) but were performed musically by “The Goody Music Orchestra” in Italy. Writers/Producers were fairly stable. However, by the 3rd album (and later hits), all of the writing, production, performing and recording was done by Jam and Lewis in the USA.
Before the band 10cc made a name in their own right, they wrote, arranged, played and recorded a number of tracks under a variety of band names which were all the legal property of 2 US Businessmen, Kasenetz and Katz. All these band names had previously existed as real bands but has been acquired by Kasenetz and Katz who had the right to release records in the name of these bands.
Contrast with Stevie Wonder who often plays every instrument on his records – as well as singing, arranging, producing and being the sole writer.
artistfield is listing only one party, while other parties are credited separately as
performer). Mainly I wonder how to correctly credit involved parties when writing about a work, e.g. in the typical "<artist> - <title>" notation.