Accomplishment Tattoos

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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Iggy Azalea


Iggy Azalea got this tattoo of a number “1” on her right forearm in 2015 and later covered it up with the mane of her horse tattoo.

The tattoo most likely celebrates the success of her single “Fancy,” which was a number 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.  She was, at the time, only the fourth female rapper to ever top the chart (Cardi B later became the fifth) and with seven weeks at number 1 she had the longest reign.  Having spent the previous few years building up her career in the UK, she had never charted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at all prior to the release of Fancy.  With her feature on Ariana Grande‘s “Problem” in the number 2 spot while “Fancy” was number 1, she tied the Beatles as the only artists to have their first two chart entries simultaneous occupy the top two spots.

Ultimately success was a double-edge sword for Iggy.  She never expected the level of success that she had and was unprepared for the scrutiny that came with it.  Her tendency to lash out at perceived criticism kept her in the headlines for the wrong reasons and caused the public opinion to turn against her.  That might explain why she covered up the tattoo.  She told Zane Lowe:

I didn’t expect to get a number 1 hit. I never thought I would have that level of success, just as a female rapper because it’s really really hard when that’s what you’re doing. I just kind of thought if I could skate by and make a living off it and be able to do shows, that was kind of my expectations. It ended up being way, way bigger than that. And the things that come with that, like the debate or…being followed by paparazzi everywhere and that level of attention is very claustrophobic and it kind of makes your decision-making sort of a bit whacked out when you’re living in a bubble that you have to create to try to protect your privacy…. At that time…I really couldn’t get control of it and it was just tumbling and tumbling.

Now she doesn’t take everything so personally and as a result she feels much more in control.  As she attempts to make her comeback, she cares more about reconnecting with her original audience of rap fans than having crossover pop hits.

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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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.

Katy is planning on getting another tattoo with her crew for Witness, but hasn’t gotten inked yet since Witness: The Tour is still going on.  She suggested some sort of eye design since eyes have been the most prominent symbol for this era. The Witness album cover features Katy with an eye in her mouth and eye motifs have also been used for her stage backdrops and costumes.

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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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Ruby Rose


Ruby Rose got this “MTV” knuckle tattoo to commemorate the time that she spent as an MTV VJ in her native Australia. She began working for the network after winning a nationwide search for a new host in 2007. The blue ink letters are placed on her middle knuckles, below the larger “Just Love” knuckle tattoo.

She has expressed her gratitude towards MTV in a few tweets. “Forever indebted to those who believe in me and I will never take that for granted. From my family to MTV to everyone I’ve met till now,” she wrote. “Feeling blessed, never thought I would see the day I’d be working for MTV, In NY for FW AND an agency like NEXT believes so much in me.”

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Ruby Rose


Ruby Rose has a tattoo along her right collarbone which says “Maybe she’s born with it” to commemorate her modeling work with cosmetics brand Maybelline New York, whose advertising slogan is “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.”

Ruby has been the face of Maybelline cosmetics in her native Australia since 2010. She has commended the brand for selecting a tattooed and androgynous person like herself to be the face of a traditionally feminine brand. “4 years ago @maybelline @mnyau took a big risk and chose a tattooed rock chick to be the face of their iconic brand,” she wrote on her instagram when she got the tattoo done in March 2014.

But the biggest reason she was so compelled to get the tattoo is that the brand supported her even when she was going through personal turmoil. “I really just wanted to remind myself that a brand like Maybelline – an internationally known brand, stands by me when I don’t believe in myself,” she revealed in an interview with The Carousel. “With my depression, when I went into rehab and took time off work and they were like ‘No, we want you to be healthy, you’re a human being,’ and that’s actually a big thing for a brand to do, surprisingly.”

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