20 Famous Celebrities & The Meaning Of Their Tattoos

minerva in Tattoo Ideas

It's interesting to know that Tattoos are widely celebrated, even by celebrities themselves!

From cavemen stone age days to the digital silver screen, the tattoo tradition remains. If Tattoos were a person, he would be the ultimate celebrity of all time! Tattoos bring about transformation, companionship and commitment to the person bearing it. It would be interesting to get glimpses of these on our favorite celebrities! Check out these 20 famous celebrities and the meanings of their tattoos! :)

1. Angelina Jolie

Tattooed women are sexy and Angelina's living proof! As much as her beauty, skills & cause can move and captivate the world (and Brad Pitt's heart!), the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for the Refugees (Jolie) proves that not all those tattooed are bad people. Jolie has worked with refugees around the world. And for this she has a "Know Your Rights" in gothic letters tattooed right across the back of her neck. Human rights is a cause so dear to Jolie's heart.

Angeline Jolie
Angeline Jolie

Perhaps one of Jolie's most prominent tattoos is the Buddhist inscription for Protection dedicated to her adopted son, Maddox (she also has tattoos about her kids & their geographical locations on her arm where Billy Bob used to be). The tattoo was done in Traditional Thai style --- using long needles manually pushed into the skin by the famous Thai tattoo artist Noo Sompong Kanhphaiin, (known for chanting hymns as he worked), who also did the Bengal tiger (created in Bangkok on 2004) on her lower back. Jolie had to kneel in prayer during the tattoo process as the ritual implements. The inscription translates as: "May your enemies run 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 & protect you, surrounding you on all sides." Jolie originally had the Japanese character for "Death" in this spot, but had it removed.

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2. Travis Barker

Badass percussionist from the American Punk rock band Blink 182 tells us that he prefers to go completely sober when getting a tattoo. He says he enjoys the pain, and it's something he likes to look forward to. His tattoo collection includes the "Pal" tattoo---a matching tattoo he got with his Dad, the Can I Say banner (name of his good friend's 1st album), the Pin-up below his neck (his lucky charm, he says), a Cadillac emblem on his chest, Jesus Christ on his left arm, a Chevy symbol w/ a rose & his daughter's name, Alabama on his left hand, a memorial tattoo for his mother (right arm), Memorial tattoos for Little Chris & DJ AM on the thighs, and so much more! Some of Barker's tattoos got burned off after the crash, but he is looking forward to touch them up soon.

Travis Barker scalp tattoo
Travis Barker scalp tattoo

Recently he had his head tattooed. His head tattoos were collaborated by famous black & grey tattoo masters, Chuey Quintanar, Franco Vescovi & Mister Cartoon. It took 30-35 hours to finish. He said that he did it all on purpose, so that no one will give him a normal job---because he never wanted to do anything normal.

3. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga's  inner arm tattoo is a quote from German poet Rainer Maria Rilke which translates to: "In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots the answer, and ask yourself...Must I write?" .  She got the tattoo in Japan (Osaka, 2009) & later added "Little Monsters" at the bottom end of the tattoo as tribute to her fans.

Unicorn tattoo
Unicorn tattoo

What also strikes the interest of fans is her thigh tattoo which features a Unicorn with the words "Born this Way" wrapped around it in a banner. Apart from these, Lady Gaga's tattoos include a peace sign on her wrist in honor of John Lennon, and a Heart with "Dad" written inside on her left back shoulder. She says that she would only fill up the left side of her body with tattoos, because her dad requests that she keeps the Monroe side of her intact.

4. Manny Pacquiao

The Pound-for-pound King, one of the highest paid athletes in the world, also goes by the name Emmanuel "Manny" Dapidran Pacquiao (from General Santos city, Philippines), and he also loves getting tattoos. He tells us that he used to do tattoos on himself when he was 13, the boxing glove right above the heart included, which he jokingly calls "ugly", but never considered removing it. The lucky charm (apart from his rosary necklace which he dons every fight) that keeps his southpaw explosive also lies on the tattoos on his upper bicep: A brotherhood symbol on top, and his family's names below which reads: Jinkee (wife), Jimuel (1st son), Michael (2nd son), Princess (1st daughter) and Queen (2nd daughter). Manny Pacquiao also owns a tattoo shop located in Los Angeles, California called "Manny Pacquiao Merchandise & Tattoo".

5. Drew Barrymore

American actress & film producer Drew Barrymore--- the youngest of the Barrymore family of actors, also has a number of tattoos which include a bouquet of flowers on the left side of her hip, a crescent moon on her toe (her smallest one), a simple black butterfly below the navel, a stylized cross tattoo with vines on her lower right leg, and on her lower back are two angels, each of them bearing her mom's name "Jaid', and the name of her former boyfriend underneath.

Bird tattoo
Bird tattoo

"I'm free as a Bird" describes Barrymore of herself. Hence, the little bird outline tattoo on her forearm.

6. Adam Levine

Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine had the ladies' panties flying for doing the famous butt-naked photo shoot that went viral for weeks showing off his chiseled body and tattoos. What the women didn't consciously know was that it was also the tattoos that sparked the attraction, and the ladies were curious --- what do those tattoos mean? Let's identify a few: Levine has a tattoo on the left side in Sanskrit which pertains to his passion for Yoga, the 222 on his forearm represents the door number of the very 1st studio where Maroon 5 first recorded in, He has a dove with cherry blossoms to pay tribute to all the lives lost in 9/11, and some flowers above it dedicated to his mom, Patsy. He also has a "Los Angeles" tattoo on his right upper bicep where he was born, and some more tattoos on his arm added in 2010 dedicated to his beloved mom. Recently he added a black bead necklace tattoo during his stay in Japan (not shown in this picture).

7. Megan Fox

Megan Fox loves poetry and so it reflects on her skin. The famous "We will all Laugh at gilded butterflies" tattoo on her upper right back shoulder is actually a quote from Shakespeare's King Lear, done in old english font. When asked what it meant, she said "to not get too caught up in Hollywood because people will end up laughing at you." On the right side of her rib cage says, "And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." quoted from the famous philosopher, Friedrich Nietzche.

Side tattoo
Side tattoo

On the left side is another poem that says, "There was once a little girl who never knew love until a boy broke her HEART." Apart from that she also has other tattoos scattered all over her body, the first one located at the back of her neck---a japanese symbol for Strength which she had when she was 18 after a bad breakup. She also has a Moon & Star on her inner ankle because it reminds her of her dad who used to read her a book as a child which had a moon & star on the back. Her most prominent tattoo, the Marilyn Monroe pinup, done by Mark Mahoney in LA (Fred Durst & Angelina Jolie's artist) is unfortunately undergoing a removal process as Megan explains that it's already fading so she wanted it removed.

8. Danny Trejo

You've seen that tough Latino guy with glossy long dark hair, a mustache & a muscular body so intimidatingly tattooed in action/thriller movies portraying hypermasculine & anti-hero characters such as Machete, Desperado, Blood in Blood out, and so on. He's Dan "Danny" Trejo---a legitimate tough guy who spent most of the 60s in and out of prison. In fact, most of his tattoos were done there. The most prominent one is his large chest tattoo of a woman wearing a sombrero which began in Folsomm prison & finished in San Quentin for 2 years when Trejo was in solitary confinement. Later on, he added a red heart wrapped in barbed wire which was meant to signify "Forever" & regards it to his marriage to his wife, Debbie. On either side he's got his wife & daughter's names, Debbie & Dannielle tattooed on. More of his tattoos were vastly gang-related, and some are large, traditional tattoos of a peacock on his forearm which symbolizes purity & fidelity, a hummingbird which symbolizes peace, love & happiness, a rose bush, and a catholic cross located on the left bicep.

Danny Trejo
Danny Trejo

Black & Grey tattoos flourished in prison. Trejo's are great examples!

9. Michelle Branch

"I would get a tattoo at different career milestones" says singer/songwriter Michelle Branch. One of her earliest tattoos being an asian character covered up by "Owen Isabelle", her daughter's name, together with traditional black roses, to mark this particular milestone in her life.

Michelle Branch cowgirl tattoo
Michelle Branch cowgirl tattoo

The singer also has a prominent cowgirl pin-up on her left forearm, done western traditional style, above her "Left" wrist tattoo (which matches the "Right" on the other side). Branch tells us that she's been meaning to get a huge back piece of a ship that says "Homeward Bound", "because when you're on the road as much as we are, you're always homeward bound." says the singer, smiling.

10. Johnny Depp

"My body is my Journal, and my Tattoos are my Story." says Johnny Depp. Like most tattoo afficionados, he started with his arms. His first tattoo a Cherokee indian chief & above it is a "Wino Forever" banner in honor of his ex Winona Ryder, which has been altered thereafter. Betty Sue, his mother's name, appears on the left arm wrapped in a heart, which is a tribute to "the greatest lady in the world", as Depp describes. Depp also has another name tattooed above his heart: Lily Rose, the name of his first born daughter. Jack, his son's name, is tattooed on his arm similar to Captain Jack Sparrow's tattoo of a sparrow in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. Awesome, eh?

Black crow tattoo, Johnny Depp
Black crow tattoo, Johnny Depp

His most recent tattoo is a black crow on the back of his hand which was done in support for the documentary West of Memphis & he shares this tattoo with one of its subjects, Damien Echols. Above the crow is a snake that symbolizes his native american roots. More of his tattoos is a number 3 on his hand, which Depp describes personally as a "magical number", 3 rectangles on his index finger, a black & grey portrait, and an I-Ching hexagram of "Wind over Heaven", which he also shares with Damien Echols.

11. Kelly Osbourne

Kelly Osbourne
Kelly Osbourne

Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne's daughter, Kelly, known for appearances in The Osbournes with her family (won an Emmy award for Outstanding Reality program in 2002) also sports traditional tattoos of a keyboard & an anchor on both arms.

Daddy tattoo
Daddy tattoo

Kelly Osbourne also has a tattoo dedicated to her dad, Ozzy Osbourne, whom we all know as the frontman of the famous english heavy metal rock band Black Sabbath. Sadly, she decided to get her beautiful tattoos removed. "I was miserable & I just went & got all these tattoos & i don't know why. One of them is a keyboard & i don't even know how to play piano!" Kelly explains.

12. David Beckham

Football star David Beckham has almost all of his tattoos done by his longtime artist Louis Malloy. Most of his tattoos are dedicated to his wife, former Posh Spice (from the 90s pop girl band Spice girls) Victoria Beckham. Beckham has a Sanskrit tattoo of his wife which was unfortunately misspelled as "Vihctoria". Sanskrit doesn't always translate correctly as it is entirely different from Alphabet letters, but the Beckhams don't seem to mind. On their 6th wedding anniversary, the couple got a matching Sanskrit tattoo which translates to "I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine." More of Beckham's tattoos include an angel on his right upper arm (done in 2004),  a roman number 7 on his right forearm. The number 7 is significant as it represents his jersey number in Manchester United & England. It is also the name of their 4th child, Harper Seven.

13. Rihanna 

Rihanna
Rihanna

Singer Rihanna got her first tattoo in 2006 --- an image of 2 musical notes, which was covered up later on with an Egyptian falcon. Since then, her tattoo collection grew all over her body. She has more than 15 tattoos to date. "I like hanging out in Tattoo shops", Rihanna points out. Some of her tattoos include a "Shhh" on her index finger, and "Love" on her middle finger, the Egyptian Goddess Isis under her chest, below her breasts, a trail of stars from the back of her neck, a gun under her left armpit, and a Sanskrit inscription which translates to "Forgiveness, Honesty, Suppression & Control" on her right hip, done in 2007.

Hand tattoo, Rihanna
Hand tattoo, Rihanna

Her most recent is her hand tattoo, which was a traditional Maori design applied with a hammer & chisel. Rihanna decided to cover it up with a mendhi/henna-inspired design later on by NY-based tattoo artists Keith McCurdy & Cally Jo.

13. Rihanna 

Former undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World Michael Gerard Tyson steered the public's interest & curiosity after getting the infamous tribal tattoo on his face. Some fans dig it, some do not. But according to Tyson in his documentary Tyson, his face tattoo represents his "warrior spirit", just like that of the ancestral tattooed warriors with face tattoos such as the Maoris, Samoans, Polynesians, and so on. Besides the face tattoo, Tyson's also got Mao Tse-Tung & Arthur Ashe tattooed on his arms, and Che Guevara on his abdomen.

15. Scarlett Johansson

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The Avengers star spawned a lot of critics on her new "crudely done" (so the critics say) horseshoe tattoo. What they didn't know was that it was intentional. Johansson got the tattoo from Fuzi Ubtpk, a Parisian artist who specializes in street & tattoo design. The artist is known for his self-described "ignorant style", ditching the idea of well-composed designs & focuses more on the rawness of the tattoo.

Colorful sunrise tattoo
Colorful sunrise tattoo

Some more of Scarlett's tattoos is a colorful sunrise tattoo on her forearm and recently, an "I love NY" tattoo wrapped around her wrist---which pertains to the place where she grew up.

16. The Rock

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Samoan tribal tattoo sleeve, The Rock
Samoan tribal tattoo sleeve, The Rock

Dwayne Johnson aka "The Rock" owns a meaningful Samoan tribal tattoo sleeve dedicated to his family & spirituality. The patters that make up the sleeve symbolize different things. Such tattoos contain coconut leaves or niu---a tattoo that denotes a Samoan Chief Warrior, a Sun for good fortune, tattoos about his O lo'u to'a (wife), Dany, and his lo'u afafine (daughter), Simone Alexandra crawling to the chest, next to his heart, descending swirls of past, present & future---with the future becoming bigger, two eyes called "O Mata E Lua" to represent his ancestors watching over his path, the Great Eye---a symbol that allows its bearer to possess the spirit of the enemy, a broken face marked w/ shark teeth---a symbol of his strength & struggles, some stones of achievement & abundance to represent the foundation of life, and a tortoise shell to deflect evil spirits.

17. Pink 

Alecia Moore also known as Pink is well known for her growing collection of tattoos. She has at least 22 tattoos to date and she plans on getting more. One thing that she'd never get though is a tattoo of her husband's name, a common mistake that most people do that always ends up getting covered up or removed. Although her husband, Carey Hart has many tattoos about Pink, Pink bluntly says that it's just not her thing (to get a lover's name tattooed). More of her tattoos include a tribal music note behind the right ear, a barcode at the back of her neck, a guardian angel on her left back shoulder, pink bow ties on the back of her thighs just below the butt, a razor blade on her inner left wrist, dog tags on her right ankle which represents her dad & brother (and a chinese infinity symbol next to it), a heart on both big toes, the words "Mr. Pink" on her inner thigh, and a Japanese symbol for Good luck on her ankle. Those are just several mentioned tattoos in her collection.

18. John Mayer

Singer,guitarist & songwriter John Mayer continue to wow his fans with his full oriental sleeve that mostly contains peonies, cherry blossoms, and wind bars as background. Indeed his body is a wonderland of beautifully composed Japanese tattoos!

19. Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus

The untamed singer and actress Miley Cyrus has more than 20 small tattoos all over her body. Her first is "Just Breathe", located right under her breast, as a tribute to her friend Vanessa who died of lung disease & her grandfathers who both died of lung cancer. "It reminds me not to take things for granted. I mean breathing---that was something none of them could do, the most basic thing. And i put it near my heart because that's where they'll always be", says Miley. Her 2nd tattoo is the word "Love" located inside of her right ear. "You're only supposed to hear things from people who genuinely love you", she explains. Miley Cyrus is family-oriented, too...for she shares a heart tattoo on her finger w/ her family members. Some more of her tattoos include a dreamcatcher on her ribs to represent her 4 brothers & sisters---a symbol of protection, a quote from former American president Theodore Roosevelt on her forearm that reads, "So that this place shall never be with the cold & timid sould who neither know victory nor defeat", from the Citizenship in a Republic speech given out in Paris in 1910.

Leonardo da Vinci inspired tattoo
Leonardo da Vinci inspired tattoo

One of Miley's most recent is a Leonardo da Vinci-inspired tattoo---a small emblem of two anatomical hearts in different angles encircled, done by LA ink tattoo artist Kat Von D. These are just some of Miley's many tattoos (she has more than 20!) and the rest are scattered all over her body---from fingers to the soles of her feet!

20. Steve-O

Steve O
Steve O

We've all seen this nutty guy doing out of this world stunt performances from the American TV series Jackass. And indeed he is a jackass.... in a cool & funny sorta way. Stephen Gilchrist Glover, commonly known as Steve-O, tells Inked magazine in an interview that "Every one of my tattoos is stupid as hell". He even labeled his tattoo gallery on his website as "Dumb tattoos". Whether it's stupid or senseless at all, we can't keep from being entertained still.

Happy face tattoo, Steve-O
Happy face tattoo, Steve-O

This tattoo of Steve-O seems like a child's drawing of a happy face....but this was actually tattooed while he was on a moving truck while shooting one of the Jackass movie segments. Steve-O also went through a creepy phase where he copied two of Angelina Jolie's tattoos (Billy Bob & the buddhist inscription). He also has the words "I have a small weiner" tattooed on his arm....realizing later on that Wiener got misspelled.

LOL! It indeed is a crazy world for most of us. Some just laugh about it, some prefer expressing it through tattoos! If you wanna see more celebrity tattoos, check out & don't forget to follow our pinterest board! :)

minerva

@minerva

Hi! My name’`s Minnie, writer & Tattooer at Good Hand Tattoo Philippines. We specialize in creating All-original and Custom-designed Traditional tattoos. Please show your support by following our page on Facebook :-)

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