Here's what 18 celebrities looked like before they were covered in tattoos

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images and Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty ImagesAdam Levine’s tattoos were on display at the 2019 Super Bowl.

From Kylie Jenner to Dame Judi Dench, it seems like every celebrity has at least one or two pieces of ink.

But these 18 famous faces have taken their commitment to body art to a whole new level, basically using their skin as one big canvas. But do you remember when they had completely unmarked bods? Justin Bieber might now have completely covered his chest and arms, but when he first arrived on the scene, there wasn’t a tat in sight.

Keep reading to see what these famously inked celebs looked like before (and after) they got the tattoo bug.


Justin Bieber claims that his tattoos took “over a hundred hours of hard work on my body and I wouldn’t take back a single one.”

Michael Buckner/Getty Images and Instagram/@justinbieberA far cry from his teeny-bopper phase.

In addition to two complete sleeves and a covered chest, Bieber also has multiple tattoos on his legs and back. According to PopStarTats, he has at least 59 pieces of ink all over his body.


Lady Gaga has multiple tattoos dedicated to her fans who call themselves “Little Monsters.”

Scott Gries and Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesLady Gaga has at least 21 pieces of body art.

The singer has at least 21 tattoos, according to PopStarTats. Among them she has a monster’s paw (an homage to her fans, whom she calls “Little Monsters”), a Mother Monster tattoo (also for her fans), and the words “Little Monsters.”

Besides honouring her fans, she has a portrait of David Bowie (one of her musical idols), and a trumpet to commemorate her time with iconic singer Tony Bennett (the two collaborated on 2014 album “Cheek to Cheek”).


David Beckham’s body his truly his canvas — he has over 40 tattoos to prove it.

The Daily Mail created a graphic to explain what each of Beckham’s 40 tattoos mean. Among our favourites are his Sanskrit tattoo that translates to “Victoria,” two cherubs representing two of his sons Brooklyn and Romeo, “Pretty Lady” for his daughter Harper, and the Jay-Z lyric “Dream big, be unrealistic.”


John Mayer started out with ink-free skin in the early 2000s, but has since completed a full sleeve — and then some.

Mayer’s largest and most famous tattoo is the sleeve that adorns his left arm. It was done by well-known Japanese tattoo artist Horimitsu, according to the artist’s Tumblr.

Mayer also has a 77 on his chest, and the words “Life” and “Home” on the backs of his arms.


Rihanna has several envy-worthy tats all over her body, but it wasn’t always like that.

Kevin Winter and Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesRihanna, then and now.

According to PopStarTats, Rihanna has at least 25 known tattoos. Some of her most well-known are the goddess Isis on her chest, a little gun just above her rib cage, and a trail of stars on her neck and back. She also reportedly has a matching camouflage shark with rapper (and rumoured then-boyfriend) Drake.

Rihanna is credited with putting tattoo artist to the stars, Bang Bang, on the map.


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s huge shoulder piece honours his Polynesian heritage.

Getty Images and Instagram/@therockThe Rock got his tattoo in Hawaii.

According to Johnson, his gigantic Polynesian tattoo took 60 hours to complete. He got it done while on a family trip to Hawaii, and took part in a Samoan tradition to have his family’s history drawn on his arm. His cousin joined him as well.


Harry Styles started off with a simple star tattoo, but has grown his collection extensively over the past five years.

GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images and Gustavo Caballero/Getty ImagesHe’s shed his boy band image.

While he might not look that tatted up, according to PopStarTats the former One Direction singer has 67 tattoos. However, most of them are very small, and he hasn’t tried to pull them together to form a cohesive sleeve.

Among the most well-known are the sparrows right below his collarbone, the butterfly on his chest, and a topless mermaid on his left arm. Styles also regularly covers up his tattoos in favour of new ones – he admitted to We Love Pop that “there are some that my friends have done and some that are just awful.”

He also famously got a “Late Late Show with James Corden” tattoo live on the air after losing the game Tattoo Roulette.


Adam Levine is truly covered in tattoos: he has two full sleeves, an entire back piece, and multiple chest and stomach tattoos.

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images and Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty ImagesAdam Levine’s body is his canvas.

Levine’s love of tattoos is no joke – a recent Instagram post revealed a huge back tattoo that he said was “6 months in the making.”

But not all are that serious – like the string of pearls he has around his neck. Levine told Inked Magazine “I was in Japan and I got this necklace. I’m not sure why I got it – I think I was bored.”


One of Demi Lovato’s first tattoos is her most famous: the words “Stay Strong” written across her wrists in large cursive.

Scott Gries and Timothy Hiatt/Getty ImagesMany of her tattoos are in honour of her journey through addiction, self-harm, and mental illness.

Lovato told iHeartRadio that her “Stay Strong” tattoos were her most meaningful, because she got them done right after getting out of rehab. “A lot of fans were telling me that and it helped me get through a rough period,” she said. Lovato even named her documentary “Stay Strong” after the mantra.

She has around 20 pieces of ink, including 12 birds on her wrist representing the 12 steps of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous.


Miley Cyrus has come a long way from her “Hannah Montana” days — now she’s covered in tiny tattoos.

Peter Kramer and Dia Dipasupil/Getty ImagesMost of her tattoos are small — but there are many of them.

PopStarTats reports that Cyrus has a whopping 55 tattoos, ranging from a little version of Saturn to a large dream catcher.

Her most heartwarming tattoo might be the jar of Vegemite she got in honour of her current boyfriend/rumoured fiancée Liam Hemsworth: the Australian snack is a favourite of the Aussie actor.


Miley’s not the only Cyrus that’s sporting some serious ink. Her older brother Trace is completely covered from the neck down.

Scott Gries and Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesEven though he has some tattoos on the left, it’s nothing compared to today.

The “Metro Station” front man is basically a living canvas at this point – but it might not be exactly what he wanted. He tweeted in September 2014 that he was “so sad I ruined my body with all these stupid tattoos.”

Being the supportive little sister that she is, Miley immediately responded and called her brother “the coolest lookin [sic] dude I know.” Aw.


Former One Direction member Zayn Malik is another erstwhile boy bander with tattoos in the double digits.

YouTube/One Direction VEVO and Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesMalik was the first member of 1D to get tattooed.

Originally seen as the “bad boy” of the group because he had a tattoo, it’s interesting to see how times have changed. PopStarTats reports that Malik has 62 tattoos, which puts him five behind former band mate Harry Styles.

Malik is recently rumoured to have tattooed his shaved head post-Gigi Hadid breakup, but it’s not the first time he’s fooled fans into thinking he got a new tat. He teased fans by posting a face tattoo reading “Mum” but later admitted it was just a drawing.


Ed Sheeran sports some seriously colourful body art.

Samir Hussein/Getty Images and Instagram/@teddysphotosSheeran has many interesting tattoos.

The “Shape of You” singer has at least 60 tattoos, ranging from gigantic (like the lion’s head he recently debuted), to minuscule (a tiny Lego head) to downright confusing. Among the most head-scratch-inducing ink? A bottle of Heinz ketchup, the words “Galway Grill” (his music video co-star Saoirse Ronan purposefully spelled “girl” incorrectly), and a goat.


Paris Jackson has an eclectic range of tattoos all over her body.

Tasos Katopodis and Dia Dipasupil/Getty ImagesShe’s the daughter of Michael Jackson.

In 2017, Jackson told Rolling Stone that she had over 50 tattoos – she had just turned 18. Clearly, she wasted no time with expressing herself through ink.

Jackson shared on Instagram that she “see(s) ink as a way of changing for the better, always improving. they represent strength for me.”


Liam Payne may have fewer tats than most of his former One Direction band mates, but still sports a significant amount of ink.

Ben Pruchnie and Mark Sagliocco/Getty ImagesLiam Payne.

The fact that Payne only has 22 tattoos (it’s all relative) is misleading. While he doesn’t have as many as, say Miley Cyrus or Harry Styles, his pieces are much larger.

Payne almost has a complete sleeve reaching to his fingers, including an eye that reportedly belongs to his girlfriend Cheryl, and the year of his birth (1993) running down the back of his arm.


Famous comedian Margaret Cho’s first tattoo was done by designer Ed Hardy.

Kevin Winter and Tasos Katopodis/Getty ImagesCho is a prolific comedian.

Cho shared with Tattoo.com that her first piece of body art was done in 2004 by famed tattoo artist and clothing designer Ed Hardy – her self-described “huge back and ribs piece.”

Cho has a number of other unique tattoos, including presidents Washington and Lincoln on her kneecaps and a Medusa head with 13 snakes on her stomach.


One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson has over 30 tattoos scattered across his body, from ankles to collarbones.

Ryan Pierse and Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesHe also has a secret tattoo on his behind.

PopStarTats counts 36 tattoos on Tomlinson’s body. Though he was the last member of One Direction to start getting inked, he wasted no time in catching up. His pieces of body art are a bit similar to Harry Styles’ – there’s really no overarching theme. It’s just a bunch of little doodles.

Tomlinson has a skateboarding stick figure, a steaming cup of tea, and the word “Oops!” along his left arm. But his biggest tat isn’t visible unless he’s shirtless, the phrase “It Is What It Is” on his chest.


One of Tyler Posey’s first tattoos was worked into his role on “Teen Wolf.”

Alberto E. Rodriguez and Mike Coppola/Getty ImagesThe two bands on his left arm were a plot on ‘Teen Wolf.’

Posey is covered in tattoos. Despite telling Teen Vogue he “tried not to do too many on my arms because of acting” he has almost a full sleeve.

While he normally shaves his arms so he can cover up his ink on camera, one of his first tattoos became a plotline on his former show “Teen Wolf.” His character, Scott McCall, decided he wanted to get a tattoo after he kept his word and didn’t talk to his ex-girlfriend Allison all summer.

Posey had gotten the large tattoo without telling showrunner Jeff Davis, and they decided to work it into the show rather than have to cover it up all the time.

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