Being immensely talented, Rihanna is one of the most popular and cherished Barbadian singers. The number of awards she has won for her music is stirring as well as worth an appreciation. But music is not the only thing Rihanna is crazy about. She is crazy about tattoos also. Check out Rihanna’s tattoos along with their meanings.
1. ‘Falcon’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Falcon’ Tattoo on her right foot.
Meaning: Earlier, Rihanna got the tattoo of musical notes inked in 2006. Later, she got it covered with the tattoo of an ‘Egyptian Falcon’ in 2012. This tattoo was inked by New York tattoo artist, Bang Bang. On June 17, 2012, Rihanna uploaded the picture of this tattoo on his Instagram account with the caption,
Falcon: a light that shines in the darkness! Never close their eyes during sleep.”
In an interview with Oprah, Rihanna was asked about the meaning of this tattoo, to which she replied,
Back in the day, they would carve into the walls and they would carve a falcon because they didn’t have another way of saying a king in the sky.”
2. ‘Pisces’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Pisces’ Tattoo behind her right ear.
Meaning: Since Rihanna’s birthday falls on February 20, so her zodiac sign is ‘Pisces’. She got this tattoo inked behind her right ear. It was done by an ever-so-busy Brazilian tattoo artist, who was luckily in Tokyo at the same time as Rihanna in 2006. In an interview, Rihanna said,
When I first got a tattoo I was seventeen years old and I was in Japan. They needed consent from a guardian, so I called my mom and she was surprisingly into it. That one was just behind my ear.”
3. ‘Sanskrit Prayer’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Sanskrit Prayer’ Tattoo rolling down her hip.
Meaning: The ‘Sanskrit Prayer’ says ‘forgiveness, honesty, suppression, and control’, but this tattoo was misspelled and translated to ‘long-suffering, truthfulness, self-restraint, inward calm, fear and fearlessness. This tattoo was the first one, which she got inked by the tattoo artist, Bang Bang. Earlier, Rihanna wanted to get this tattoo inked on the back of her leg, but Bang Bang told that it would be a bad idea to get this tattoo inked on the back of her leg and asked her to get it done on her hip area. Rihanna liked the honesty of Bang Bang, and he became one of the most favorite tattoo artists of Rihanna. In an interview, Rihanna said,
I remember thinking, this guy is gangsta as fuck. He doesn’t give a fuck about me—he doesn’t know who I am and that is brilliant. So that’s why I wanted him to do my tattoo. I knew he wasn’t going to try any funny shit or act crazy; he was just going to do my tattoo. I was surprised when he wouldn’t put my first tattoo where I wanted it to go—up the back of my leg—but I was so shocked that I was actually open to his idea of moving it, and I’m glad I did. I was still early on in my tattoo game, so I trusted him as an expert more than I trusted myself because I didn’t know. When you’re well known, it can be hard knowing who to trust, but I trusted Bang Bang from the first time he tattooed me.”
4. ‘Star’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Star’ Tattoo inside her left ear.
Meaning: In August 2006, Rihanna got inked the tattoo of a ‘tiny star’ inside her left ear. This tattoo was inked in New York. According to the reports, Rihanna said,
My best friend from Barbados was here so we had to do something crazy. She got one too.”
5. ‘Arabic Script’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Arabic Script’ Tattoo on the left side of her ribcage.
Meaning: She has an Arabic phrase down her ribs which says, ‘Al Hurria fi Al Maseeh’ which means ‘Freedom in God’.
6. ‘Stars’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Stars’ Tattoo on her back.
Meaning: Her popular ‘stars’ tattoo on her back was started in LA when it was just on her neck. Later, she had added more stars that go down her back, in New York.
7. ‘Skulls and Crossbones’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Skulls and Crossbones’ Tattoo near her left ankle.
Meaning: During her stay in Miami in 2008, she got a skull and crossbones tattoo inked; topped with a cute pink hair bow, on her left ankle.
8. ‘Love’ Tattoo
9. ‘Shhh…’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Shhh…’ Tattoo on the index finger of her right hand.
Meaning: In June 2008, Rihanna got this tattoo inked by the tattoo artist, Bang Bang. This tattoo of Rihanna was copied by other celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Lily Allen, who were unaware of Rihanna’s exactly same tattoo. The tattoo artist, Bang Bang, once said in an interview,
The “Shhh” tattoo is many years old- done in one shot, no touch up needed. If you’re thinking of getting you’re finger tattooed and have heard they “fade” or “fall out” I’ll say, Yes, they can fade during the healing process- though if done properly, they can be great, and last a lifetime.”
10. ‘XI.IV.LXXXVI’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘XI.IV.LXXXVI‘ Tattoo on her left shoulder.
Meaning: Rihanna got the birthdate of her best friend, Melissa, tattooed on her left shoulder. Melissa also got the birthdate of Rihanna inked on her body.
11. ‘Tribal Design’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Tribal Design’ Tattoo on her right hand.
Meaning: Rihanna has a tribal tattoo on her hands which she updated while she was in New Zealand in 2008. In an interview, Rihanna said,
It’s tribal. It represents strength and love….It’s their traditional way of tattooing. I always wanted [one]. It hurt like hell!”
Earlier, Rihanna had ‘Chevron Pattern’ tattoo on her hand, which she got it covered with ‘Tribal Design’ tattoo.
12. ‘Handgun’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Handgun’ Tattoo on the right side of her ribcage.
Meaning: In March 2009, Rihanna took her favorite tattoo artist, Bang Bang, out to Los Angeles, to tattoo her friend, as a birthday gift and decided to get one for herself at the same time. Though Rihanna was considering many other designs, Bang Bang suggested that Rihanna should go for a ‘handgun’ tattoo. Earlier, Rihanna wanted to get a pair of handguns inked on both sides of her body, but Bang Bang convinced her to go for a single handgun tattoo. In an interview, Rihanna said,
The thing I value most about Bang Bang is his honesty. He will never tattoo a bad idea—like EVER. That is the best thing about him—he has shut down so many of my crazy ideas. Or he’ll correct them, tweak them, and turn them into something great. Like my gun tattoo—I was sure I wanted two of them on my collarbones, but he talked me out of it and I’m so glad. Bang is invested in his art—it’s not about the money. That’s really rare and very special.”
13. ‘Never a Failure Always a Lesson’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Never a Failure, Always a Lesson’ Tattoo below her right collar bone.
Meaning: In December 2009, Rihanna got this tattoo inked by the tattoo artist, Bang Bang. She got this tattoo inked in the backward style so that she can read it in the mirror. In an interview, the tattoo artist Bang Bang said,
I asked her why she wanted that and she said, ‘It’s kind of my motto in life for everything.’ Instead of considering things to be mistaken, considering them lessons…. She said that she wanted to do it in gray, rather than black, because she wanted it to be more subtle…. She didn’t want it to draw too much attention.”
14. ‘rebelle fleur’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘rebelle fleur’ Tattoo on the left side of her neck.
Meaning: In August 2010, Rihanna got this tattoo inked by the tattoo artist, Bang Bang. This tattoo translates to, ‘rebel flower’. Many people said that it was ‘rebellious flowers’ and not ‘rebelle flower. To this, Rihanna said,
Rebelle Fleur translates to rebel flower, NOT rebellious flower, it’s 2 nouns so in that case, fleur does not HAVE to be first! Fyi, cuz they will ask.”
15. ‘Cross’ Tattoo
16. ‘Tibetan Script’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Tibetan Script’ Tattoo on the left side of her butt.
Meaning: In March 2012, Rihanna got inked the tattoo of ‘Tibetan Script’ on the left side of her butt, which means ‘lover’ in English.
17. ‘Egyptian Goddess Isis’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Egyptian Goddess Isis’ Tattoo on her sternum.
Meaning: Rihanna paid tribute to her late grandmother with a tattoo of an Egyptian goddess, Isis. Isis is said to be ‘the ideal mother and wife’ as well as a friend to slaves, sinners, and downtrodden.
18. ‘Egyptian Queen Nefertiti’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Egyptian Queen Nefertiti’ Tattoo on the left side of her ribcage.
Tattoo: Rihanna got a tattoo of Nefertiti, who was the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh, Akhenaten. Nefertiti had many titles including Hereditary Princess, Great of Praises, Lady of Grace, and Sweet of Love.
19. ‘1988’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘1988’ Tattoo on her right ankle.
Meaning: 1988 is the birth year of Rihanna, who was born on February 20, 1988.
20. ‘THUG LIFE’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘THUG LIFE’ Tattoo on her knuckles.
Meaning: Rihanna got a tattoo called ‘THUG LIFE’ on her knuckles. This tattoo is a tribute to legendary rapper ‘Tupac Shakur’. This tattoo was inked by the tattoo artist, Mark Mahoney, with semi-permanent white ink.
21. ‘Cross’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Cross’ Tattoo on her right wrist.
Meaning: In January 2014, the tattoo artist Bang Bang gave Rihanna this tattoo of a cross on the inside of her right wrist.
22. ‘Shark’ Tattoo
Tattoo: ‘Shark’ Tattoo on her left ankle.
Meaning: This tattoo of Rihanna is a camouflage-print shark on her left ankle. This tattoo was inked by her favorite tattoo artist, Bang Bang, in September 2016.