5 Celebrity Tattoo Stories You Didn't Know About

We have the scoop on the stories behind your favorite celeb's ink.

By Eric Shorey

The trailer for NBC's Blindspot has tattoos on the forefront of our minds. What happens when authorities find a mysterious tattooed woman with amnesia in the middle of Times Square? We're about to find out with the Sept. 21 premiere of the upcoming show starring Jamie Alexander as the amnesiac Jane Doe. We might not be able to explain Jane's tats but we at least have the scoop on the stories behind your favorite celeb's ink. Check out our list of celebrity tattoo stories, below!

1. Angelina Jolie

Jolie's iconic ink has become almost as well known as her penchant for adopting children. But did you know that the Tibetan prayer on her back was actually created as a cover-up for another tattoo? Originally, Jolie had the Japanese word for death emblazoned on her shoulder blade. Eventually the morbid tattoo became too much for her, and she ended up getting it re-done with something more positive.

2. Ed Sheeran

Halfway and ouch

A photo posted by @teddysphotos on


Remember Cecil the lion? Well, Ed Sheeran sure will for a while. The red-headed celeb got the big cat tatt'ed on his chest shortly after the international scandal around the illegally poached lion erupted. Only a day later, Sheeran was posting pictures of his chest without the tattoo, claiming he had fooled us all. Was the whole thing a stunt?

Was only joking about the lion

A photo posted by @teddysphotos on


Turns out, the stunt was a stunt. Sheeran had covered up the kitty cat for a prank-within-a-prank. Uh, sure? That's...hilarious?

Only joking, covered it up for a TV show didn't I

A photo posted by @teddysphotos on


Anyway, the tattoo is only half done. Soon Sheeran will complete his transformation into a weird ginger-feline chimera.

3. Johnny Depp

Tattoo's of your lover's name are basically never a good idea. So it's no surprise that Johnny Depp's “Winona Forever” tattoo had to be revised after the power-couple broke up in the 90's. But Depp's correction was pretty ingenius: by removing the “na” at the end of Winona, his tattoo now reads “Wino Forever”. That dude really loves his Pinot Grigio!

4. Lady Gaga

Gaga is no stranger to tattoo's but more perceptive celebrity super-sleuths have noticed she's only inked on one side of her body. Why? Because her Dad wanted her to remain at least a little normal. “He asked that I remain, on one side, slightly normal. So I only have my tattoos on my left side. I think he sees [my right] as my Marilyn Monroe side, and he sees [my left] as my Iggy Pop side.”

5. Mike Tyson

“I was gunna get a bunch of hearts and stuff. That would have been really stupid,” said Mike Tyson about his infamous face tattoo. “The tattoo artist said 'I ain't doin' that.'”

But said artist got himself into a bit of a legal skirmish over the revamped design when Ed Helms' character in The Hangover 2 got the same design on his face. The artist, S. Victor Whitmill, claimed the design was his intellectual property and successfully settled the suit out of court with Warner Bros.

Tune in to the premiere of Blindspot on Sept. 21 at 10/9c on NBC. You can check out the trailer for Blindspot here.



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