|1st Tatoo – Music notes
This tattoo placed on Rihanna’s right foot is a treble and a music note. It was made in 2006 while Rihanna was in Australia to promote the album “A Girl Like Me”.
|2nd Tattoo – « Pisces »
This tattoo placed behind Rihanna’s right ear, symbolizes her astrological sign Pisces (she was born on February 20). It was made in 2006 by a famous Brazilian artist Rihanna met during a promotional trip to Tokyo.
|3rd Tattoo – A star
This tattoo placed on Rihanna’s left earlobe represents a star. We know it was made in New York Village, back in 2007.
|4th Tattoo – A sanskrit prayer
This tattoo placed on Rihanna’s right hip is a writing in sanskrit, and more precisely, a prayer. It means “Forgiveness, Honesty, Dissimulation and Control” but unfortunately, it was badly written out. This tattoo was made in 2007, by Bang Bang, the singer’s favourite tattoo artist.
|5th Tattoo – A shower of stars
This tattoo placed on Rihanna’s nape of the neck represents a shower of stars. At first, Rihanna made only a few stars in 2007, and a year after that she asked Bang Bang to add some more stars in different sizes & shapes.
|6th Tattoo – “Love”
This tattoo placed on the middle finger of Rihanna’s left hand is the word “Love”. It was made in 2008, in LA, by an artist who had already tattooed her before.
|7th Tattoo – “Freedom in God”
This tattoo placed on Rihanna’s left hip was written in Arabic and means « Freedom in God ». It was made in 2008 and Rihanna showed it for the first time during the Sonia Rykiel Fashion Show in February 2008.
|8th Tattoo – Melissa’s date of birth
This tattoo placed on Rihanna’s left shoulder represents the date of birth of her BFF and assistant Melissa. It was written in Roman numerals (XI.IV.LXXXVI), and represents the date of April 11, 1986. Rihanna made it in June 2008, in New York to prove her friendship towards her childhood friend. Melissa has a tattoo with the date of Rihanna’s birthday on her shoulder as well.
|9th Tattoo – “Shhh…”
This tattoo placed on the forefinger of Rihanna’s right hand is a word « Shhh… ». This one was made in June 2008 and was copied several time by such celebrities as Lindsay Lohan & Lily Allen.
|10th Tattoo – A skull
This tattoo placed behind Rihanna’s left ankle, is a feminine skull with bones with a small bow on top of the skull. It is the only tattoo that Rihanna decided to get in colour. It was made in 2008, in Miami, by an artist who’ve already tattooed Rihanna.
|11th Tattoo – Tribal tattoo
This tattoo which is placed on the wrist of Rihanna’s right hand is a tribal symbol and it means “Strength and Love”. Rihanna made it in New Zealand during her tour with Chris Brown, back in November 2008. Brown has the same tattoo. In 2013 Rihanna added a second Maori tattoo to her body art collection during the New Zealand leg of her “Diamonds” world tour. She once again went under a chisel and a hammer to get the excruciating yet traditional Ta Moko tattoo, which its elaborate lines and arrow-shaped symbols run from her fingertips all the way to her right forearm. Later Big Bang finished the tattoo.
|12th Tattoo – A gun
This tattoo which is close to Rihanna’s right breast is a small gun. Before tattooing the right one, Rihanna got 3 temporary gun tattoos: two on each side of her chest (which were false) and another under her armpit which is permanent. These tattoos were made by Bang Bang, Rihanna’s friend, in March 2009.
|13th Tattoo – Philosophical sentence
This tattoo placed below her collarbone reads “Never a failure. Always a lesson” but it was made as a mirror reflection! Rihanna herself, wanted it to be readable by her when she looks in the mirror. When asked why she wanted such a sentence, Rihanna answered that it was a motto of her life in every aspect. Instead of considering our decisions as mistakes, we have to take them as lessons. She wanted it in grey so that it would be more subtle and not too apparent. The tatoo was made in December 2009, and as u probably expect it was made by Bang Bang.
|14th Tattoo – “Rebelle Fleur”
This tattoo placed on the left side of Rihanna’s neck reflects Rihanna’s personality. As she explained in the Making Of LOUD material, she is both hard and good, both strong and vulnerable. Several medias reported that the tattoo was writtien with a mistake since in correct French, we would have said “Fleur Rebelle”. But Rihanna explained that it wasn’t the flower who was rebelle but that she had a personality with two sides: one is « rebelle » and the other is « fleur », and that this is the name her grandmother liked to call her. This tattoo was made by Bang Bang in August 2010, in New York, during the “Loud” promotion.
|15th Tattoo – “Thug Life”
This tattoo, divided into two parts: “Thug” on the right hand and “Life” on the left, is a tribute to 2Pac (or Tupac) who died in 1996, but also a motto. “Thug Life” is the kind of life that 2Pac lived his whole life: started from scratch, he had to get over obstacles to reach his goals: it’s a kind of fight to survive. At first, we might think that this sentence is a motto promoting violence or crime but it is the complete opposite. So, Rihanna picked this motto which looks like her own life. This tattoo was made in Los Angeles, in January 2012, by Mark Mahoney. It was written with a white ink which faded as one goes along. Now, this tattoo is almost invisible.
|16th Tattoo – “Lover”
This tattoo, on the left side of the bottom of her back, was made by Mark Mahoney, at the same time as her tattoo « Thug Life » in Los Angeles, in January 2012. Rihanna said it was written in Tibetan but didn’t say anything about its meaning. However, a fan translated this tattoo, and now we know that it means “Lover”.
|17th Tattoo – A cross
This tattoo placed on the left side of her collarbone is a little, almost invisible cross which can be easily hidden by a necklace according to the singer. It was made in New York, back in March 2012 by Bang Bang while Rihanna was totally excited to have a new tattoo. The ink color was blended with water to make the tattoo lighter and more discreet, a little bit like « Rebelle Fleur”.
|18th Tattoo – A falcon
This tattoo, on Rihanna’s right ankle, represents an egyptian falcon. While on a trip to New York, back in June 2012, Rihanna went to her favourite tattoo artist, Bang Bang, to get a new tattoo. Rihanna explained on her Twitter account its meaning: “A light that shines in the darkness! Never close their eyes during sleep “. As you’ve probably noticed, this tattoo covers the two music notes that she got in 2006.
|19th Tattoo – Isis Goddess
This tattoo, on Rihanna’s chest, represents the egyptian goddess, Isis. After the death of her grandmother, Gran Gran Dolly, in July 2012, Rihanna went to a London tattoo salon to get a tattoo. It represents Isis, the protective and saving goddess of the Egyptian Mythology, as well as the symbol of femininity and divine magic. This tattoo was inspired by the famous painting of the goddess, but it is slightly different because of the falcon’s wings. This bird of prey is like a Messenger who teach us to observe and examine the world we live in. The falcon helps us to jump on a golden opportunity but also study our life from a higher level to distinguish the obstacles that prevent us from leaving the nest.
|20th Tattoo – Nefertiti
Rihanna added more ancient Egyptian tattoo in February 2012. She first showed off her tattoo of Queen Nefertiti in a photoshoot with Terry Richardson. Queen Nefertiti was an iconic vision of true beauty in the ancient world, having many titles, including Hereditary Princess, Great of Praises, Lady of Grace and Sweet of Love.