We’re here to talk about the 20 people who are not only sexy but also full of tattoos. There are lots of celebrities in 2016 that have some variation of ink on their body, but that doesn’t mean it’s all good ink.
While anybody can get some meaningless Chinese symbol or another heart tattoo, the celebrities below clearly bring their love and appreciation for tattoos to the next level. One thing is for sure, even if you are not a fan of tattoos, you’ll agree that these babes and dudes are some of the hottest celebrities in society.
Tattoos have become more accepted in society over time. What was previously reserved for ladies of the night, motorcycle gangs, and people of a certain character or class level, are now one of the most appealing parts of some people. It seems everyone wants or has a tattoo these days.
R&B singer Rihanna is known for constantly adding to her tattoos and is not afraid to be daring, whereas actress Angelina Jolie is known for being a tattooed bad-ass in the ’90s even tattooing herself with her ex-husband’s name. Speaking of bad decisions, do you know how many of these celebrities have ink that they had to get covered up? You’re about to! As you can imagine, many of these celebrities are decorated with tattoos and artwork that defines significant periods in their lives. You’ll even read about a celebrity who got his wife’s name written on him, but it wasn’t spelled right when it was translated! There is even a celebrity who loves yoga enough that he got a tattoo to symbolize it and he even takes his yoga instructor out on tour with him.
There is also no shortage of women out there that have a preference for men with tattoos. David Beckham is probably the first name that pops into the head when thinking of hot tattooed men. Or perhaps Adam Levine, the dreamy coach from The Voice who is absolutely covered in artistic tattoos.
While sometimes tattoos can clearly be a huge mistake, these 20 celebrities have tattoos that definitely add to their sex appeal.
20. Angelina Jolie
Jolie may now have six kids, but she was one of the first Hollywood A-listers to start popularizing tattoos. Angelina Jolie made tattoos look cool on women, so perhaps you aren’t surprised that it started a huge trend among women who wanted tattoos like Angie’s. Jolie has such a variety of scripture and imagery tats, it is hard to keep track of. In fact, there might even be some we still don’t know about. The Gothic letter tattoo between her shoulder blades says “Know Your Rights,” which is the title of a song from her favorite band.
Jolie has such a variety of scripture and imagery tats, it is hard to keep track of. In fact, there might even be some we still don’t know about. The Gothic letter tattoo between her shoulder blades says “Know Your Rights,” which is the title of a song from her favorite band.
The script tattoo on her left shoulder blade was done by tattoo artists Noo (aka Sompong) Kanhphaiin in a hotel in Bangkok. The script is a Buddhist Pali incantation written in Khmer script, the language of Cambodia. Jolie got the tattoo to protect her and her adopted Cambodian son Maddox from bad luck.
When translated, the tattoo reads “May your enemies run far away from you. If you acquire riches, may they remain yours always. Your beauty will be that of Apsara. Wherever you may go, many will attend, serve and protect you, surrounding you on all sides.”
Jolie also has an Arabic script tattoo on her right arm that translates to the word “Determination.” This tattoo is actually a cover up tattoo, hiding one that she previously had gotten with her ex-husband Billy Bob Thorton.
19. John Mayer
Bad boy pop and blues musician John Mayer has quite a number of tattoos. Steadily growing over the years, his collection of body art includes the numbers “77” signifying the year of his birth across his chest, several floral tattoos, koi fish, a dragon-looking beast, and a few geometric triangles.
In 2003, Mayer inked three squares on his right forearm, which he began filling in with various colorful tattoo designs. Mayer also has a tattoo spelling out “Home” on the back of his left arm.
A few years later, Mayer had his entire left arm covered with an elaborate tattoo sleeve that he had done while he was in Japan. Before he had the tattoo inked on by the artist, he had to go into the tattoo shop and prove that he was “worthy” enough to have the tattoo done. Staying with tradition he got the tattoo tapped onto his skin, which leaves the skin appearing raised.
The letters SRV represent the initials of guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer’s idol. Tattooed on the back of his right arm is the word “Life”, which is the title of a song from Mayer’s Heavier Things album.
18. Miley Cyrus
The former Disney Channels star turned wild child has dozens of tats all over her body. Miley Cyrus has a phonetic spelling of “beauty” on her arm, a tattoo she shares with her male assistant.
On her right hand alone, Cyrus has 9 tiny tattoos. On the sides of fingers are an equal sign, a peace symbol, a cross, the word “bad” from the Michael Jackson album, and the word “karma.”
On her knuckles, she has a heart, an evil eye, an alien head, and a watermelon slice. She previously had a tongue and a triangle, but those were covered with the watermelon.
After her beloved dog Floyd passed away, Cyrus got a tattoo as a tribute on her ribcage.
Her right arm is also covered in many designs with an animal tooth on her bicep, roman numerals inside her elbow, crossed arrows behind her elbow, a portrait of her grandmother and an anatomical heart on her forearm. Oh, and an anchor on her wrist. And we didn’t even have time to talk about the lower part of her body.
It is safe to say that the former Hannah Montana is definitely a lover of getting inked up, so much so that we can hardly keep track of all of them!
17. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp has said publicly before that he treats his body as his journal, permanently marking it with memories throughout his life. The actor, director, and musician is covered in tattoos memorializing significant milestones in his life.
Like many men typically tend to do, Depp started his tattoo fixation with a tattoo on his right bicep. Depp had a Cherokee Indian Chief that was sitting beneath a banner that read “Wino Forever.” The tattoo originally said “Winona Forever” in honor of his former partner, Winona Ryder that he had covered up after their split.
Depp’s mother’s name, Betty Sue, appears on the banner that is wrapped around a heart on his left bicep.
Sticking with the family theme, Depp has the name of his firstborn daughter, Lily-Rose, tattooed over his heart. On his right arm, Depp has a sparrow with the name “Jack” which is similar to Captain Jack Sparrow’s tattoo in Pirates of the Caribbean. Depp has also said that the sparrow represents his own son Jack, who was born in 2002.
16. Lena Dunham
Writer and actress of the popular HBO series Girls, Lena Dunham, is no stranger to tattoos. The actress has seven tattoos including one on her arm, wrist, and rib cage. Dunham’s biggest piece may be two scribble-drawn houses that covers most of her back. Dunham has said that her most meaningful tattoo is a small tattoo of her favorite children’s book character, Eloise, which is on her lower back.
Dunham felt connected with the story throughout her life and has been “obsessed” with the series ever since hearing it for the first time as a little girl. When she was 17 she desperately wanted to get a tattoo and persuaded her parents to agree to let her get one of the adventurous heroin.
Dunham also has the word staunch written across her right wrist as a reminder from Little Edie of Grey Gardens, who refers to herself as a “staunch character” that is never afraid to hold her ground and act like a tough old lady.
The tattoo on her upper left arm is an illustration from the children’s book The Story of Ferdinand. The book tells a story of a bull who doesn’t want to fight and prefers to smell flowers. Dunham’s tattoo depicts Ferdinand sitting under a tree in a field of flowers.
15. Lady Gaga
Of course Mother Monster makes the hottest tattooed celebrity list. The singer has tats spreading across her back, side, and shoulders.
The singer has a total of 14 tattoos that we know of, including flowers on her hip and a unicorn on her thigh. A little-known fact about Lady Gaga is that she only tattoos her body on one side and keeps the other side blank in respect for her father.
She has a peace sign tattoo on the inside of her left wrist as a tribute to John Lennon, one of her musical idols. The tattoo is pointed inwards in order to serve as a reminder for herself. As you can imagine, she also has a tattoo celebrating her signature monster paw.
Gaga also has a rather large tattoo of roses that sprawls from her lower back to her waist. That tattoo was done by LA Ink star and celebrity tattoo artist, Kat Von D (who you may see below!).
Lady Gaga’s most recognizable tattoo is probably the large text on her bicep which is a passage from Gaga’s favorite writer, Rainer Maria Rilke. The tattoo translates to read, “Confess yourself in the deepest hour of the night whether you would have to dies if you were forbidden to write. Dig deep in your heart, where the answer spreads its roots in your being, and ask yourself solemnly. Must I write?”
14. Margaret Cho
The comedian has a bold and colorful half sleeve among other artistic pieces. Most of Margaret Cho’s wardrobe does not allow her to show off her tattoos at all times, but the comedian’s body is covered with bright, intricate pieces.
She has a large back piece tattooed by designer Ed Hardy. Among her collection also includes two portraits of Washington and Lincoln on her knee caps, which were tattooed by Craig Jackman at American Electric In Los Angeles. When talking about her knee cap ink, Cho said “Well I wanted to be in a one-man band, that’s my idea. So I was going to put knee cymbals so I could bang their heads together. I just thought that it would be good to keep the beat and stay patriotic.”
Cho tracked down famed artist Eddy Deutsche who tattooed a horse portrait, which was actually a tribute to Cho’s dog who had just passed away. Understandably, this is one of Cho’s favorite tattoos.
In 2013, Cho started a media frenzy after she was outraged when she was forced to cover up her full-body tattoos at a Los Angeles Korean spa because they offended other patrons.
Cho has no regrets about any of her tattoos and has plans to continue inking up her skin.
13. David Beckham
The soccer star hunk is known for his super-hot body that is covered in tattoos. David Beckham has at least 40 tattoos and his love and appreciation for body art continues to grow over the years.
Beckham got the number “99” tattooed on his pinky finger to mark the year he got married to his wife and former Spice Girl, Victoria. Just prior to that, David had his daughter Harper’s name tattooed on his neck in honor of her fourth birthday. David’s first tattoo was also in 1999 after the birth of his son, Brooklyn.
Beckham probably got a lot of tattoo inspiration from Spice Girl Mel B’s then husband, Jimmy Gulzar. One year later after his initial tattoo, he was back in the tattoo studio to get a large guardian angel on the middle of his upper back. The idea was to have the angel watching over Brooklyn’s name below.
Beckham also got a tattoo of his wife’s name in Hindi script, but it was later discovered that the tattoo translated into “Vihctoria.” Shortly after the birth of his third child and second son, Romeo, David added his name above the guardian angel.
12. Megan Fox
An obvious choice for one of the hottest tattooed celebrities, Megan Fox followed in Angelina Jolie’s bad girl footsteps with strategically placed script tattoos and images all over her body. One of her most notorious tattoos is a King Lear quote in script on her back shoulder, that says “We will all laugh at gilded butterflies.”
Fox actually had one of her most infamous tattoos, a Marilyn Monroe portrait on her forearm, removed. The actress said that she had gotten it at a young age and didn’t feel it represented her anymore. Fox has said herself that she has “eight or nine” tattoos.
The actress has said that she is also considering getting tattoos removed from her stomach and ribs. Fox also has a tattoo on the back of her neck of the Chinese symbol for strength. On her left-hand wrist, Fox had previously flaunted a tattoo of two tribal waves which represents her love and appreciation for surfing and the ocean. The tattoo actually was supposed to resemble a yin and yang, but Fox recently had that one removed because she said it did not turn out the way she had wanted.
11. Travis Barker
Travis Barker is the drummer from the pop punk band Blink-182, but he is also a tattoo fanatic and his body is covered with various kinds of tattoo designs. It is clear that Barker has spent loads of money getting them carved into his skin. Travis’ tattoos are definitely partially a reflection of how much he loves music.
Barker’s tattoos also represent his love for his family, as he has tattoos for both his mother and his wife. Although, you probably wouldn’t blame him for saying that musical tattoos will always be his first love. Barker has various tattoos of music that he says has inspired him in the past, like his piece on his chest with the lettering “Can I Say,” which is the name of Dag Nasty’s first album.
Barker also has a large flower tattoo of three cherry blossoms on the side of his neck. On the lower half of his back, Barker got the words “Hope” inked. Barker got the tattoo as a tribute to the positive things that happened to himself after his mother’s death.
10. Demi Lovato
It is clear that Demi Lovato is in love with tattoos. Lovato has been pretty public about her battle with addiction and struggles with an eating disorder, and her tattoos are symbolic of her strength to overcome these difficult times.
Lovato’s first tattoo was revealed in June 2010, which was right before the stars 18th birthday. Lovato had the words, “You make me beautiful” written on the right side of her rib cage. The phrase comes from the song “Beautiful” by Bethany Dillon which was a song that Lovato revealed had encouraged her during a dark time in her life.
In September 2011, Lovato added a pair of feathers to the piece.
Lovato’s most visible, and therefore her most well-known tattoo is the words “Stay Strong” which she has on her wrists. Lovato decided to get these tattoos in March 2011 after spending some time in rehab struggling with cutting and bulimia. The tattoos were placed over an area that she used to cut. In this way, the tattoo was a way to cover the scars and also symbolize her tremendous growth and recovery.
9. Rita Ora
Singer, actress, and fashion diva Rita Ora has lots of beautiful tattoos. On her upper back, she has a geometric tree of life. She previously had a feather tattoo on the outside of her right hand, but she had that covered up with a detailed rose.
The singer also has a small black outline of a smiley face on her right earlobe. She is a fan of small, meaningful tattoos that seem to have a close and personal touch for Ora.
Ora recently got a gorgeous ballerina shaded tattoo as a tribute to her friend and booking agent, Anda Saku. She also has a wishbone tattoo on her left wrist, as does one of Ora’s close friends. Ora said the tattoo was also done as a tribute to stylist Kelly De’volle.
Rita Ora also has a rather new tattoo on her rib cage of a semi-naked woman who is clutching her breast as she smells a flower. Ora has said that the body art is based on an illustration by Alberto Vargas, who is one of the creators of the pin-up image. Ora got this tattoo in to symbolize how hard women are for men to understand.
8. Benji and Joel Madden
These twins may have been made famous by their band, Good Charlotte, in the nineties, but they are still together rocking out as the Madden Brothers. They also might have way more ink than you remember back in the day.
Joel Madden’s tattoos are mostly religious in nature, but some of them represent important moments in his life, his family, and even a few sports teams. He incorporated classic religious symbols, with the Virgin Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and the sign of the cross all being present in his full sleeves.
The Madden brothers actually got their first tattoos together at the age of 18. Since then, there was no hindering their love for ink.
Benji Madden has a tattoo of his then girlfriend (now wife), Cameron Diaz’s name etched across his chest. In 2015, Benji got a massive tattoo on his freshly shaved head. The design appeared to be a large skull intertwined with a complex geometric pattern.
7. Justin Theroux
Not many people know that Justin Theroux has all this inked-up goodness just lurking beneath his shirt, but there is no denying he has got some serious ink!
Apparently, Theroux has spent some drunken nights at the tattoo parlor for sessions with ink artist Scott Campbell. Theroux put his faith in Campbell when it came to the design of the tattoos. The actor admits to even having given Campbell a few tattoos himself at one point.
Along with a fully-tatted back, Theroux sports a grim reaper piece that reads “Best of Luck” on his left shin. He also has a butterfly tattooed on his left calf. On his feet are a pair of swallows, which symbolize good luck.
Theroux’s first tattoo was given by himself at the age of 14. It was a small “x” on his inner left ankle. Theroux also has a friendship tattoo on his upper right shin that he got with his buddy and restaurant owner, Matt Kliegman.
6. Cara Delevingne
Model and actress Cara Delevingne has a beautifully maned lion on her left pointer finger, but that is not her only aesthetically pleasing tattoo. Delevingne has approximately 20 tattoos, but it was the lion tattoo that ignited her love for tattooing back in 2013.
Delevingne’s tattoos are arguably just as famous as she is, having been featured in ad campaigns like Tag Heuer and Mulberry. Her tattoos have even been copied on the catwalk of designer runways.
Delevingne has a favorite tattoo artist she likes to go with. New York-based artist, Bang Bang aka Keith McCurdy, is the tattoo artist for many A-listers including Delevingne’s friends Rita Ora and Rihanna. Bang Bang is known for creating some of the most realistic looking pieces out there.
As a result, he is now one of the most in-demand tattoo artists in the entertainment industry.
Delevingne has even found a love for tattooing herself. The actress inked up Bang Bang in his NYC shop, and also inked Suicide Squad co-star Margot Robbie’s foot.
5. Kat Von D
How could we not include this beautiful tattoo queen on the list? Kat Von D is the leading lady for all things ink. Von D is a celebrity tattoo artist who specializes in portraits. Her body is of course covered with tattoos all over her arms, face, neck, and any other blank area of skin that she could fill.
She received her first tattoo at the ripe age of 14. Von D got the letter “J” in Old English on her ankle. The “J” stood for James, who was her first love. However, now the tatted lady jokes that it stands for “Just kidding.” Thankfully, she says she has no regrets about any of her tattoos and has vowed to never remove her first one.
Von D also owns her own tattoo parlor in West Hollywood called “High Voltage Tattoo” which has arguably become the most famous tattoo parlor in LA. She was also featured on the TLC reality series LA Ink.
As you can see, Von D even has a tattoo of stars on her face.
4. Zayn Malik
Zayn Malik and Harry Styles might possibly be competing for who can have the most tattoos in One Direction.
Malik’s most recent tattoo is a Star Wars lightsaber that supposedly even has a special feature. The tattoo is located on the side of Malik’s middle finger and the center was inked with special glow in the dark ink so that it lights up when he puts the tattoo beneath a black light.
Malik has quite the collection of body art including images of lips, flowers, a checkered flag, and even one depicting his now, ex-girlfriend Perrie Edward’s face. That’s awkward.
Malik was born and raised a Muslim and his father was a Pakistani immigrant, and because of this, Malik also has two Arabic chest tattoos. Still not done, Malik also has a yin and yang tattoo which is commonly associated with both Buddhist and Chinese teachings.
Malik shocked his fans in March, when he revealed a freshly shaved head with a large “MOM” tattoo on his face. The tattoo was supposedly a tribute to his first solo album Mind of Mine. Thankfully, the tattoo was later revealed to be a fake.
3. Harry Styles
The young singer is getting so many tattoos in such a short period of time, that it is actually impossible to keep up. Harry Styles is not yet 25 and he already has over 40 tattoos.
Styles’ most notorious tattoo may be the two swallows that he has inked on his check as a cover up for his love banner tattoo. Styles had mentioned he wanted swallows because the birds symbolize traveling, and he was traveling a lot with his band One Direction at the time.
On either side of his collar bones, Styles has the years 1957 and 1967 for the years that his father and mother were born. One of his most recognizable tattoos is a large butterfly that he got inked on his torso. Styles also has also a large ship tattoo on the outside of his left arm. The tattoo was a tribute to his family and his home. The singer decided to get the tattoo because he was missing being home while out on the road with the band, and wanted a reminder that he is homeward bound.
R&B vocalist Rihanna loves getting tattooed. She has plenty of rather large statement pieces ranging from one on her hand, to the under-boob piece that everyone keeps trying to mimic. Rihanna has plenty of others on her neck, chest, and everywhere else you can think of.
Rihanna’s first tattoo was two music notes on her foot that she had done back in 2006 by the tattoo artist Bang Bang. Clearly, she was happy with the result, as Bang Bang has apparently done 13 of her tattoos. In 2012, Rihanna covered up her music note tattoo and replaced it with a large Egyptian falcon. She shared a picture of the ink on Twitter with the message, “Falcon: A light that sings in the darkness! Never close their eyes during sleep.” The cover up tattoo was also inked by Bang Bang.
In 2008, Rihanna added a tattoo of a skull on the back of her ankle. Skull and crossbones usually represent danger, but her tattoo is feminized by the skull’s pink hair bow.
Rihanna also has a henna-style tribal dragon claw across her right hand and fingers. She got the tattoo while in New Zealand on her 2008 tour. Ex-boyfriend Chris Brown has a similar style tattoo on his hand. She later expanded the tattoo adding chevrons and lines all over her fingers, hand, and wrist.
Rihanna added the final piece to her hand tattoo in October 2013. She incorporated both the Maori tribal design and the chevron lines. It is an abstract design that was inspired by Indian henna art. Artists Bang Bang and Cally-Jo collaborated together on the design.
1. Adam Levine
Adam Levine’s first tattoo was inked on his body at the age of 21 as a tribute to 9/11. While this is super meaningful, he later got a beaded necklace tattoo in Japan because he said he was bored!
His biggest piece is by far the intricate tattoo on his back of a mermaid at sea. It was reported that the tattoo took over six months to complete. This tattoo was crafted by tattoo artist Bryan Randolph of Spider Murphy’s Tattoo shop in San Rafael, California.
Levine also has a tattoo with the Sanskrit word “TAPAS”. It is not what you are thinking, not the appetizer tapas! Tapas stands for fire, passion, and keeps him connected to something that changed his life, yoga. Levine even has his yoga instructor come on tour with him.
Levine also has a signature eagle tattoo across his abs. He doesn’t really have an explanation for why he got that tattoo, just that it was a part of his “long, weird, awesome journey of life.”