When the world first met Ariana Grande, she was playing
Cat Valentine on . And while nine years ago, Grande was recognized for her breathy voice or Victorious fiery red hair on the Nickelodeon show, now she’s known for her record-breaking music — and her massive tattoo collection.
Grande’s tattoos didn’t infiltrate mainstream conversation until she started dating — and quickly broke up with —
Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson in 2018. But to be accurate, the singer had been collecting tattoos long before she got that diamond engagement ring. In fact, her first ink came way back in 2012, long before she was the chart-topping force of nature that she is today.
Now, she’s racked up at least 28 tattoos — but there are plenty more that are either too small or too faded for anyone to get a glimpse of (like the scribble on her left thigh or “hi” on her toe). Even if we don’t ever track down
all of Grande’s collection, we’ve rounded up her best — at least, her most notable — ahead.
In the midst of recording her first album in 2012, Grande brought a tattoo artist to the studio to ink a tiny heart on her toe. Although it’s difficult to get a glimpse of the extra-small tattoo these days, the singer posted a
video to YouTube way back when to record the whole process, co-signing it with the message: “This year has been 1 of the happiest and most enlightening years for me, and I felt like I wanted to do something special to remind me of this time… so, I wanted to do something permanent to remind me to always be grateful and not take anything for granted so, I got a little tattoo.”
Two years later, Grande got “
mille tendresse ” tattooed on the back of her neck. The phrase means “a thousand tendernesses” in French and comes from Truman Capote’s famed novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which is one of Grande’s favorite films. Never forget that Pete Davidson, Grande’s ex-fiancé, also got the same tattoo on his neck in 2018 — only to cover it months later with a less romantic word: “cursed.”
This tattoo is a nod to Grande’s Italian heritage. Her late grandfather, Frank Grande, would frequently refer to his granddaughter as “Bellissima,” which means “gorgeous” in Italian. She added the word to her left side (some may call it a
side-boob tattoo) back in 2014.
By 2015, Grande added her fourth tattoo: an outline of a crescent moon behind her left ear. Grande
loves moons, often using lunar imagery in her music (she has a song titled “Moonlight” on her 2016 album Dangerous Woman) and her Snapchat (her handle is @moonlightbae).
Named for one of Grande’s favorite songs “Honeymoon Avenue” off her 2013 album
Yours Truly, Grande got this tattoo sometime during her Honeymoon tour that began in early 2015 and concluded that October. Around the same time she got “honeymoon,” she got a small phrase in Hebrew tattooed on her right ring finger inspired by her Kabbalah faith.
When Grande sang “Tattooed Heart,” she apparently meant it. Not long after her toe tattoo, the singer added a second heart to her right ring finger.
There’s no telling exactly when Grande found time to get this one, which is on the same finger as her “honeymoon” tattoo, but fans suddenly saw a whole lot more of it by early 2016. Like “Bellissima,” it’s believed that “Baby Doll” was a nickname given to Grande, most likely by
Grande redefined what it means to get a
best friend tattoo by adding an “A” to her right thumb in August 2016 from L.A. artist Dr. Woo. The letter isn’t only the first initial of her name, but also her best friend Alexa’s. Photo: Snapchat/ Ariana Grande.
Grande also recruited Dr. Woo to add
a Venus symbol to her left middle finger.
One year after the devastating terror attack at the Manchester Arena, Grande added a worker bee, the symbol of Manchester, behind her left ear (just above her existing moon tattoo). Grande visited
New York artist Mira Mariah for the tiny ink.
Grande is a loud-and-proud
Harry Potter fan and even has a tattoo inspired by the magical series on the side of her right hand sometime. It reads “lumos,” a rudimentary, wand-lighting charm from the Harry Potter series.
Grande loves clouds. It’s been one of her most-used emojis for years. And when the singer was spotted with a matching cloud tattoo with Davidson, it was the beginning of a relationship rollercoaster that would ultimately lead Grande to accumulate nearly 10 tattoos in just six months.
After their engagement, Grande and Davidson (along with Grande’s cousin Courtney Chipolone) got
the acronym “H2GKMO” tattooed on their hands (it stands for Grande’s self-proclaimed catchphrase, “honest to god, knock me out”). Davidson has since gotten his covered up by a black arrow. Photo: Instagram.
That same day, Grande revealed on Instagram that she also got a tattoo as a tribute to Courtney inked on her knee. Unfortunately, Grande almost always wears knee-high boots, so this is one tattoo fans rarely get to peek, but you
can spot it in her “7 Rings” music video. Photo: Instagram.
The lightning bolt behind Grande’s right ear is another tattoo without an exact timeline. By the time she shot her “God Is A Woman” music video in the summer of 2018, it appeared. Perhaps another
Harry Potter reference?
In June 2018, Grande posted a photo of her hand to her Instagram Story, revealing two new tattoos. One was the number “561,” which is the area code for Boca Raton, Florida, where she was born and raised. The other, “reborn,” was a few inches below it. (Grande has since covered up “reborn” for… well, you’ll see.)
By August, Grande had enlisted Mariah for another tattoo inspired by the popular Japanese
anime film . Grande got a portrait of the lead character, Chihiro, tattooed on the inside of her right forearm, and it became her largest at the time. Spirited Away Photo: Instagram.
Just a couple weeks after her split from Davidson,
Grande covered up her “reborn” tattoo with a delicate olive branch done by Mariah. Photo: Instagram.
In the “Breathin” music video for her
Sweetener album, Grande revealed two more ear tattoos. Not only did she get “REM,” the title of one of her favorite songs off the album, but she also got another tiny heart tattoo. (You can spot both at 2:22.)
Immediately after ending her engagement, Grande
hid the “Pete” tattoo on her ring finger with a bandage. But it wasn’t until the music video for her song “Thank U, Next” came out in November that fans got to see the final cover-up: a black heart.
Spotted in the behind-the-scenes footage for her “Thank U, Next” music video, Grande boasted about her new foot tattoos: a cluster of stars and the word “Myron.” While the constellation-inspired ink was also evident in her “Breathin” music video, this was the first time Grande pointed out the ink to fans. As for
the “Myron” tattoo, that’s the name of Mac Miller’s dog, who Grande adopted shortly after the rapper’s death in September.
Moon & Stars
Yes, another moon reference, but this time it’s huge and on Grande’s hand. The
hand tattoo was created by Mariah right after Grande accepted her award as in December. But more importantly, Marjorie, Grande’s grandmother (a.k.a. Nonna) got her first tattoo that night, too. She was unimpressed with the hype. Billboard’ s Woman of the Year
Even after a tumultuous 2018, Grande celebrated the new year with a
new ditch tattoo that says “let’s sing” in Japanese on her right arm.
Two weeks later, Grande added a tattoo to her left arm: the
bunny-like Pokémon, Evee. “I’ve wanted this for so long,” the singer wrote on Instagram, tagging the artist behind the work: L.A.-based artist Kane Navasard.
“Japanese Barbecue Finger”
Grande closed out January with her second number-one song, “7 Rings,” and a new hand tattoo to honor it. Unfortunately, instead of ending up with the proper
Japanese translation of the song’s title, Grande was left with what roughly translated to “shichirin,” which is a Japanese-style barbecue grill. Two days later, she amended the tattoo, adding another character and a heart to read, “七輪指♡.”
But Japanese is read vertically from top to bottom as well as right to left, so the amendment doesn’t read “seven rings,” but “
Japanese barbecue finger.” To Grande’s dismay, the pain for another fix was just too much to withstand. So, she’s resigned to the fact that she’ll probably never hear the end of this one and plans to love it anyways. Photo: Instagram.
Just before kicking off her
Sweetener/Thank U, Next world tour in March, Grande evolved her “always” tattoo, which is rumored to be written in Davidson’s handwriting. She called up Mariah to stop by her tour rehearsal at 3 a.m. and cover the tattoo with a massive leaf.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Eva Mendes Is Having "Strawberry Feels Forever" With Her New Summer-Ready Hair
The Best Celebrity Hair & Makeup Looks Coming Out Of Coachella 2019
What Your Favorite Game Of Thrones Cast Members Look Like In Real Life