Album Tattoos

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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Florence Welch


Florence Welch added the words “Always Lonely” above the eye on the back of her left arm in May 2018.  The phrase seems to be a lyric from her upcoming album High as Hope as she has been selling “Always Lonely” t-shirts in one of the album pre-order packages. Her feelings of loneliness are one of the central themes of the album though it’s not all negative. She wrote in a press release:

There’s a lot of love in this record, loneliness too, but a lot of love.”

Regarding lead single “Hunger,” she says:

“This song is about the ways we look for love in things that are perhaps not love, and how attempts to feel less alone can sometimes isolate us more. I guess I made myself more vulnerable in this song to encourage connection, because perhaps a lot more of us feel this way than we are able to admit. Sometimes when you can’t say it, you can sing it.”

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Hayley Williams


This zig-zag line on Hayley Williams’ left wrist resembles two teeth with a gap in the middle. She got the tattoo in May 2017 to celebrate the release of Paramore’s album After Laughter.

Hayley’s gap-toothed smile became a symbol of the band during the After Laughter album cycle because their single “Fake Happy” features the lines “If I smile with my teeth / Bet you believe me /If I smile with my teeth / I think I believe me.” The song is about Hayley trying to appear happy despite her inner turmoil.

She took a particular liking to one fan’s cartoon-style drawing of the band where she appears to be faking a smile. She started spamming her instagram profile in March 2017 with various croppings of the drawing showing just her face and just her teeth. It was her way of teasing about the song, which hadn’t been released yet. Fans went went wild with the “Awkward Hayley” drawing, turning it into a meme. The band even put the two-toothed smile on their stage trunk during Tour One.

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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 first television performance of the album’s lead single “Hard Times” at Jimmy Kimmel Live on May 17, 2017.

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SZA


SZA celebrated her debut studio album “Ctrl” by getting the title tattooed on her left forearm. The album was officially released on June 9, 2017 but SZA got the tattoo a few month prior.

Some of SZA’s die-hard fans have showed their devotion by getting their own “Ctrl” tattoos. One fan posted a picture of the tattoo that he got before the album was released and captioned it “I don’t listen yet but it already changed my life.”  SZA was so flattered that she reposted the picture and wrote “You’ve already changed mine. (got mines in the same spot too)”.

The album title “Ctrl” represents living in the present moment and just letting life happen without trying to control every little thing.

“It’s about analog and being at a time where we were brought information more slowly,” she told Complex. “Control is a concept, you think about getting away from analog, control is an illusion, you try and force it.”

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    Halsey


    Halsey has a tattoo on the left side of her butt which reads “HOPELESS.” She got this tattoo at the same time as the kissing lovers on her leg in August 2016. “Got zapped twice last night by my main @curtmontgomerytattoos. Here’s one of them. The other one is a secret (for now),” she wrote on instagram. The “Hopeless” tattoo was shown off in her Twitter icon a few weeks later. Both of the new tattoos represent her sophomore album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom.

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    Ash Costello


    Ash Costello has a tattoo on her right forearm of the tally mark logo from her band New Years Days’ October 2015 album Malevolence. All of the band members and crew have their own versions of this tattoo on different body parts. Rather than having the design in red, as it appears on the album, they opted for black ink with a red outline so that it stands out more. The album artwork was designed by graphic artist Eve Saint Raven.

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      Paris Jackson


      Paris Jackson got this tattoo in memory of her father, the legendary “King of Pop” Michael Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009.  The design comes from the cover of Michael Jackson’s 1991 album Dangerous, which was designed and painted by Mark Ryden. Paris’ tattoo features a menagerie of animals which are outlined in black ink, though they appear in full color on the album.  At the center of the tattoo are Michael’s eyes with a curl of hair in his face. Unlike the surrounding designs, this part of the tattoo is fully shaded in black ink.

      She got the tattoo from artist Justin Lewis in May 2016 and shared a picture of the new ink on twitter with the caption “Never forget your roots. Always be proud of where you came from.” 

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