Accomplishment Tattoos

Katy Perry


Katy Perry has gotten a tattoo for each of her albums when she’s near the end of her touring cycle. With Witness: The Tour winding down, she finally got her Witness tattoo on August 17, 2018, a few days before the end of the six-continent world tour that started back in September 2017.

Her previous three tattoos — a strawberry, a peppermint, and a prism — have all been on her ankles and have all had a very similar style, turning symbols from the album into colorful cartoon characters with cutesy eyes. But everything is different with this tattoo: different tattoo artist, different body part, and a completely different design style.

She flew Los Angeles-based artist Dr Woo out to Sydney Australia to tattoo herself and many members of her crew. He is known for his intricate fine-line designs, and he applied his signature style to this tattoo. Katy had said a while ago that her Witness tattoo would likely be “some form of an eye,” and Dr Woo’s design is that, but there’s also a lot more going on in it.

The pupil of the eye has a ring around it to look like a planet and the white parts of the eye are drawn with architectural curved lines through them. The whole design has a very outer space feel, looking almost like a spaceship or a satellite, which is reinforced by the twinkling star above it. But the eye also has a little teardrop in the corner.

Katy chose an eye for her tour tattoo since eyes have been the most prominent symbol of her Witness era. The album cover features Katy with an eye in her mouth and eye motifs have been used for her stage backdrops and costumes. The elongated eye shape of her tattoo, with the whites separated from the iris, is copied directly from the eye-shaped video screens behind the stage.

The Saturn-like planet in her tattoo is also inspired by the tour’s stage art. Katy performed the song “Thinking of You” each night while flying through the air on top of a planet.

Halsey


Halsey has a tattoo on her arm to celebrate her Playboy magazine cover story. Rather than just getting the iconic Playboy bunny logo, her tattoo shows the backside of a pair of jeans with the Playboy bunny on the pocket, complete with the Levi’s red tag.

Her favorite tattoo artist Curt Montgomery first created the design as an illustration which he sent to Halsey to congratulate her. When her cover of the September/October 2017 issue was released she posted the drawing on instagram and wrote “Good time to post this cute drawing my friend @curtmontgomerytattoos gave me!!! Might have to go get this tatted now that it’s official!!!!” She visited his Toronto tattoo parlor in October 2017 when her Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour brought her to the area.

Halsey loves looking at vintage Playboy issues and has been a fan of the magazine for a long time. She told Playboy “My first encounter with Playboy was at my aunt and uncle’s house. I think I was like 8 or 9 years old. I’ve been kind of obsessed since. Whenever I’m somewhere that has vintage Playboys I’m obsessed with going through them. It’s been a long road for me and Playboy.”

She feels strongly that being comfortable with her sexuality is empowering and fired back on those who criticized her scantily-clad photoshoot. She posted a reply to a commenter who thought the shoot conflicted with her feminist ideals: “yeah, it’s crazy. I can show my tits in Playboy, perform at the Nobel Peace, speak at the Planned Parenthood Gala with Hillary Clinton, shake my ass on 300 stages, give a speech at the United Nations, do 150 shots of tequila, get a #1 album, and march in the streets of DC in just ONE year!!! Newsflash. A woman can be multi dimensional. #WeAreNotJustOneThing”

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    Kelsea Ballerini


    Kelsea Ballerini has a tattoo on her ribcage which says “Love. love.”  The word “love” appears twice because it’s in the handwriting of each of her parents.

    The tattoo also celebrates a major milestone in her career, her debut single “Love Me Like You Mean It” hitting number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.  She was the first female solo artist since Carrie Underwood to have her debut single top that chart and the first ever to achieve that feat while on an independent label.  She told Ty Kelly and Chuck:

    The week that ‘Love Me Like You Mean It’ went No. 1, I received letters from my mom and dad. I was in New Orleans, and I took the letters and got ‘love’ tattooed in my mom and dad’s handwriting.

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    Iggy Azalea


    Iggy Azalea announced that her next album would be called Surviving the Summer (the name was later changed slightly to Survive the Summer) in November 2017 and in December she revealed a new tattoo of the album’s initials “STS” on her right knuckles in the same font as the album art.

    These “STS” tattoos are the third time that Iggy has put an album title on her hands.  The previous two, The New Classic and Digital Distortion, were on the sides of her fingers.  In each case she got the tattoo well before the album’s release date, and for Digital Distortion the album never ended up getting released.  In an interview with 103.5 KISS FM she joked about what she might do if Survive the Summer never saw the light of day:

    I have my knuckles tattooed….and they say “STS” which stands for “Survive the Summer” which is the title of my album that I’m going to put out in summer — fingers crossed, or this tattoo is going to have to get changed. It’s just going to be super awkward. Or I may have to get my other hand tattooed.

    She chose the title Survive the Summer because the songs represent all of the vibes and emotions of summertime.  She told Extra:

    It’s way heavier rap, a bit grimier. Aggressive, twerkable, very sexy. It’s summer! To me, if summer was personified I think that summer is hot and sexy and aggressive. And you go out with your friends and you have a good time and you have romances and crazy adventures.

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    Lauren Jauregui


    Lauren Jauregui played her first-ever show as a solo artist in Sao Paulo Brazil on June 6, 2018.  She commemorated the monumental occasion by getting this “6 • 6 • 18” tattoo on her forearm.  The concert was the first of five dates where she performed as the opening act for the Latin American leg of Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom World Tour.  She debuted three new songs at the first show and was amazed that fans were already beginning to sing along.  That night she tweeted:

    GUYS IM SCREAMING OH MY GOD SEEING ALL OF YOUR REACTIONS TO THESE SONGS AND LITERALLY PEOPLE WERE ALREADY SINGING THEM BY THE END OF THEM I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! Obrigada São Paulo you have my heart forever!! First show ever DONE!!

    Before the tour was over, she’d already gotten this tattoo to remember it forever.  She visited artist Gabriel Puas in Santiago Chile on June 11, 2018 during an off-date between the third and fourth shows.  She performed in Santiago the following night.

    The transition from being part of Fifth Harmony to becoming a solo artist has been a major shift for her since she had spent her entire adult life as a member of the girl group.  She was only 15 years old when she auditioned for The X Factor.  All of the members auditioned as solo artists and the group was created by the producers and judges of the show, who thought they were better as a group than as individuals.  That may have been true when they were young teens who hadn’t fully formed their own identities, but now they all have unique perspectives and unique stories to tell in their songs.  Following Camila Cabello‘s departure from the group Fifth Harmony released a final self-titled album and then went on indefinite hiatus on March 19, 2018 so that the remaining four members could pursue their own solo careers.

    Going solo has forced Lauren to confront and conquer her self-doubts.  She didn’t begin writing until recently because she was afraid that she wasn’t good enough.  Now she is so glad that she took the plunge.  She tweeted:

    Fun fact: I actually only started writing actual songs this year. I had only written two songs in my life completely that I thought were ok and I was too scared of failure to try until my world shifted earlier this year….Literally in the studio every day just opening the floodgates of all the shit I never let myself say….Never give up on yourself and do it anyway because you can only get better.

    Lauren is still discovering what she wants her solo music to sound like, but she’s loving the process and the songs that she’s written.  “The album is not finished yet. I feel inspired and could write any song at any given moment,” she told Billboard. “It’s really interesting, and it’s a road to self-discovery.”

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    Sophie Turner


    Sophie Turner paid tribute to her role as Jean Grey in the X-Men movie series by getting a tattoo of the X-Men logo on her left side.  It’s not known exactly when she got the ribcage tattoo, which was first seen at the Beijing premiere of X-Men: Apocalypse in May 2016.

    Rather than getting the classic X-Men logo, which has much thicker lines, her tattoo shows as updated version which serves as the logo for Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in the film.  Sophie played a younger version of Jean Grey who was a student at the school.  She will resume her role as a more mature Jean Grey and alter-ego the Phoenix in the 2019 film X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

    Fellow actress Alexandra Shipp, who plays Ororo Munroe / Storm, has a matching tattoo.

    Maren Morris


    Maren Morris got this roman numeral tattoo the back of her left arm to celebrate the success of her single “I Could Use A Love Song.” It was her first solo number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, having previously topped the chart with her feature on Thomas Rhett’s “Craving You.”

    More importantly, “I Could Use a Love Song” was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance at the 2018 Grammy Awards. She decided that she would honor the achievement and the song during her trip to attend the Grammy Awards ceremony. “Oh, and a ICUALS tattoo is definitely happening when I’m in NYC for Grammys. #SorryDad,” she tweeted.

    She showed off her fresh ink on the red carpet at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala on January 27, 2018, telling Billboard:

    It’s been an amazing month. I can’t believe — It went number one, and then we’re at the Grammys this weekend….Watching it inch up the chart all week, and then they finally said it went number one and I could just exhale, finally. It was really exciting. I actually got a tattoo today to signify the number of weeks it was on the chart. So it’s 42. It’s the first number one so I want to celebrate it.

    “I Could Use A Love Song” was released on March 27, 2017 as the third single for debut album Hero. The sleeper hit climbed the chart slowly after debuting at number 56. It finally hit number one on the chart dated January 20, 2018 after 42 long weeks. Maren’s tattoo says “XLII” which is the roman numeral for 42.

    Katy Perry


    Katy Perry continued her tradition of getting tattoos for each of her albums by getting this Prism tattoo in March 2015. In each case she has turned a motif from the album into a cutesy cartoon face complete with eyelashes.  She has a strawberry for One of the Boys, a peppermint candy for Teenage Dream, and now a rainbow-colored triangular prism for Prism. The adorable design was created by tattoo artist Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy.

    “I always bring Bang Bang in for my most special tattoos—the ones my touring team and I get at the end of a tour to commemorate another successful journey together. Each time, he’s created the definitive symbol of that era of my life.”

    She pays Bang Bang to join her on tour for weeks at time so that he can tattoo her whole crew and entourage. It’s important to her that everyone involved with the planning and production of the tour has the opportunity to get inked because the tattoos are a bond that they share. She told The Project:

    “It comes towards the end of the tour because it’s kind of the payoff. We’re all like ‘we’ve done 100-plus shows, let’s shed some blood together’ we do it as like a family thing.  It’s to commemorate.”

    The Prismatic World Tour lasted for well over a year with 149 shows in six continents from May 2014 to October 2015.  Although the tattoo marks the successful completion of the Prism album cycle, the tour wasn’t over when she got inked at the end of the European leg in March 2015. After a few weeks at home, she went back on the road for her final shows in Asia and Latin America.

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    Hayley Williams


    Hayley Williams got the letters “AL” tattooed on the back of her left wrist in honor of her band Paramore’s fifth studio album After Laughter. She got the tattoo a few days after the album’s May 12, 2017 release date. Fans got their first look at the new tattoo during Paramore’s debut television performance of the album’s lead single “Hard Times” at Jimmy Kimmel Live on May 17, 2017.

    All three members of Paramore have the “AL” tattoo.  Guitarist Taylor York placed his above a cluster of tattoos which he has on the inside of his upper right arm.  Drummer Zac Farro, who is the least tatted member of the band, put his in a discreet location on his upper thigh.

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    Skylar Grey


    Skylar Gray has a large tattoo on her right thigh based on art nouveau illustrator Aubrey Beardsley’s 1893 drawing “The Peacock Skirt.”  The original illustration (pictured below) is cut off with a hard line at the bottom, so tattoo artist Joshua Lord added his own creative flair to the design by changing the outline into a beautiful mermaid tail shape.

    The tattoo celebrates Skylar’s involvement in the Suicide Squad movie soundtrack.  She contributed two songs: “Wreak Havoc” which she performed herself and Kehlani’s “Gangsta” which she co-wrote.  Fellow songwriter Jacob Luttrell drew something on her thigh on the night when they began writing “Gangsta” together.   The doodle was either a butterfly or a fish — neither of them can quite remember — but this piece of art evokes the feeling of both.

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