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29 celeb tattoos and the stories behind them

Sarah grew up in Monterey, CA and now lives in Los Angeles. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying a good book, fine wine, sunflowers and long walks on the beach.

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Celebrity ink

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Celebrity ink

For some of these celebrities, the art on their bodies is more than just skin-deep.

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Sophie Turner

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Sophie Turner

During the 2016 Emmys, Sophie Turner showed off her tattoo, which reads "07.08.09." She and Game of Thrones co-star Maisie Williams got it not only as a tribute to their friendship but also because it's the day they were cast on GoT.

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Paris Jackson

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Paris Jackson

Jackson recently revealed an epic tribute to her late father, Michael Jackson: The word "Bad" tattooed on her hand in the same font used for Michael's single when it came out back in the '80s.

Her right hand also pays tribute to other musical inspirations in her life. She has a red thunderbolt on her pinkie in remembrance of David Bowie, Prince's purple symbol on the outside of her hand, and a "VH" on her pointer finger for Van Halen.

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Judi Dench

WENN
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Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench recently revealed she got some fresh ink to commemorate a special milestone in her life in December 2015: She now has "Carpe Diem" tattooed on the inside of her wrist.

"That’s my motto: Seize the day," she said in an interview with Surrey Life magazine. "My daughter Finty gave it to me for my 81st birthday — she’s wonderful with surprises... Mind you, the company of A Winter's Tale, which I was doing at the time, used to say that it said fish of the day."

 

 

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Lena Dunham

WENN
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Lena Dunham

 The Girls star has several pieces dedicated to children's books, including the two houses from Eloise on her back.

She also has a Yorkshire Terrier on her ribcage, which was given to her by costar Jemima Kirke. "It hurt like a mother f***er and took over an hour," Dunham said of the session with Kirke.

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Benji Madden

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Benji Madden

This rocker is obviously no rookie when it comes to tattoos, but in 2015 he got a fresh piece dedicated to his new wife, Cameron Diaz.

"Thinking about you #luckyman," Madden captioned the Instagram pic in which he debuted the new tatt.

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Katy Perry

FayesVision/WENN
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Katy Perry

Perry and her now-ex-husband, Russell Brand, had "Anuugacchati Pravaha," sanskrit for "go with the flow," tattooed on their arms back when they were still together.

"We decided to get it after the whole engagement in India, which was really beautiful and wonderful. He never had a tattoo and I kind of pressured him into doing it," she said in a 2010 interview.

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Travis Barker

Judy Cortes/WENN
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Travis Barker

There's not much space on the Blink 182 drummer's body that isn't tatted up, but two tattoos on his thighs hold extra-special meaning: They are dedicated to DJ AM and Chris Baker, close friends of Barker's who died in a 2008 plane crash that also badly injured the rocker.

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Selena Gomez

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Selena Gomez

 Gomez has "love yourself first" tattooed on her back in Arabic.

 

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Rihanna

WENN
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Rihanna

 Rihanna has "Never failure. Always a lesson" under her right clavicle, but that's not the most interesting thing about the tattoo. According to the singer, she had it written backwards, so that she could read it in the mirror.

"It's basically saying that it's OK to make a mistake. Just don't make them twice," she said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres.

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Lady Gaga

WENN
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Lady Gaga

Mother Monster has a lot of interesting body art, but what's most captivating is the reason why parts of her aren't tattooed.

"He asked that I remain, on one side, slightly normal," Gaga said during a Google interview of her father's request to leave the right side of her body tattoo-free. "I think he sees (my right) as my Marilyn Monroe side and he sees (my left) as my Iggy Pop side."

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Taye Diggs

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Taye Diggs

File this one under "adorable." Diggs proudly displays his son Walker's artwork on his arm.

"My little dude wrote 'I love daddy' a couple months ago," the actor told HuffPost Live in June 2015. "It's going to be there forever. It's my favorite tattoo."

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Victoria Beckham

Daniel Deme/WENN
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Victoria Beckham

In honor of her sixth wedding anniversary to David Beckham, the former Spice Girl inked the Hebrew quote "Ani ledodi vedodi li haro'eh ba'shoshanim." The words, which were taken from the Old Testament, translate to "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine, who grazes among lilies."

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Megan Fox

Adriana M. Barraza/WENN
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Megan Fox

Fox's Shakespearean tattoo that reads "We will all laugh at gilded butterflies" means "to not get too caught up in Hollywood because people will end up laughing at you," the actor said when asked what the quote meant to her.

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Ryan Gosling

KIKA/WENN
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Ryan Gosling

 The claw shape under Gosling's elbow "is supposed to be a monster's hand dropping a bloody heart, but I did it myself with a tool kit, so it looks like a cactus," he said. 

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Lori Petty

Ivan Nikolov/WENN
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Lori Petty

 "I started from the wrist up 20 years ago," the Orange Is the New Black actor told Pen & Ink of her arm tattoos. "Basquiat's 'Diagram of the heart pumping blood' is my reminder with this temporary body to live and love with every heartbeat," she said of one work in the series of her body art.

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Emma Stone

KIKA/WENN
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Emma Stone

Stone's tattoo of bird feet on the inside of her wrist is special for two reasons. One, it was designed by Sir Paul McCartney, and two, it was inked in honor of her mother's recovery from breast cancer.

"My mom's favorite song is 'Blackbird,'" Stone said in an interview with Dave Letterman. "I wrote a letter to Paul McCartney asking him if he would draw two little bird feet."

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Mike Tyson

FayesVision/WENN
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Mike Tyson

 Tyson revealed in the documentary Tyson that he got his tribal face tattoo to honor his own "warrior spirit" like ancient Polynesian, Maori and Samoan warriors used to do.

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Lea Michele

Brian To/WENN
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Lea Michele

The tiny musical notes on the Glee star's shoulder are reportedly from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." She also has "If you say so" — the last words her late boyfriend, Cory Monteith, ever said to her — tattooed on her ribcage. 

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Lea Michele

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Lea Michele

Michele's latest addition was on April 12, 2016. She decided on another tribute for her late Glee co-star and real-life boyfriend, Cory Monteith. The number five represents the jersey number that Monteith's character, Finn Hudson, wore on Glee.

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Nicki Minaj

FayesVision/WENN
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Nicki Minaj

 Minaj originally planned to have the words "God is with me always" tattooed on the back of her neck in Chinese, but rethought the placement after finding that that specific area would be too painful.

"I wish I never got the tattoo, because it's on my arm," Minaj said in an interview with Billboard magazine.

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Angelina Jolie

WENN
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Angelina Jolie

Jolie has the coordinates of where all of her children were born, along with Brad Pitt's birthplace, on her upper arm. The piece also serves as a cover-up of the prior tattoo, which was a dragon and the name "Billy Bob," in honor of her ex-husband, Billy Bob Thornton.

She has several other tattoos, including one with the Buddhist inscription for "protection" dedicated to her oldest son, Maddox, on her lower back. 

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Jennifer Lawrence

WENN
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Jennifer Lawrence

Lawrence has a barely visible tattoo of "H2O" on her hand, which she considers a mistake.

"I call this tattoo a watered-down rebellion, cause it's not like a real tattoo," she said at Comic-Con, according to Nylon. "I was with Liam's family and everybody was getting tattoos, and I was like, well, I'm always going to need to be hydrated so I guess I should just get H2O on my hand."

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David Beckham

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David Beckham

Beckham's "99" pinky tattoo is a sweet tribute to the year he married his wife, Victoria Beckham.

"99 was a good year for me," he wrote on Instagram.

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Adam Levine

Kento Nara/Future Image/WENN
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Adam Levine

Most of the frontman's tatts have a meaning behind them, but the "222" on his forearm has special historic value. It's the door number of the first studio that Maroon 5 ever recorded in.

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Adam Levine

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Adam Levine

Levine recently debuted his massive mermaid back tat. No word if there's a meaning behind it yet.

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Adam Levine

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Adam Levine

In February 2016, Levine posted an update to the massive piece he has on his back.

"6 months in the making. Thanks @bryanrandolph for absolutely blowing my mind with this one! Woooo hooooo!!!!" he captioned the Instagram picture.

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Kylie Jenner tattoo

Apega/WENN.com, Kylie Jenner/Snapchat
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Kylie Jenner tattoo

Kylie Jenner reportedly got the words "before sanity" tattooed on her butt cheek. According to TMZ, she wanted to "add new meaning to an old tattoo."

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Jai Courtney

ABC Home Entertainment
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Jai Courtney

Suicide Squad's Jai Courtney revealed on Live with Kelly that his co-star Margot Robbie inked his arm. Yes, you read that right: Robbie gave him the tattoo "skwad." But he wasn't the only one; his castmates got the tattoo too — a permanent reminder of their time spent filming.

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