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The Top Twenty-Five Tattooed Celebrities in 2005
The Vanishing Tattoo first started tracking the online popularity of tattooed celebrities in 2001 through search engine inquiries and web site proliferation while compiling the Internet's largest photo archive of tattooed celebrities and historical figures.
At that time celebrity women, largely actors, singers and models, were far and away the most popular tattooed celebrities. Since then male wrestlers, athletes and Hip-Hop artists have made their presence felt in mainstream popular tattoo culture. In 2005 The Vanishing Tattoo web site had 475 million hits, 60 million page views and over 7 million unique visitors. Approximately 60% of the traffic to the site came from the United States, 5% from Canada and the remainder from some 170+ countries around the world, including the Vatican.
The following is a list of the Top Twenty Five Tattooed Celebrities in 2005. These eleven women and fourteen men share little in common beyond their relative youth - their median age is only 26, their high media profiles as celebrities and the fact that they are tattooed, although strangely enough, one of the top tattooed celebrities in 2005 does not yet even have a tattoo! Now that's star power! (We have now confirmed that this tattoo does in fact exist!)
1. Angelina Jolie - Is far and away the most popular tattooed celebrity on the Internet since we began tracking tattoo web statistics over five years ago. Oscar-winner Jolie is an unabashed tattoo enthusiast, collector and aficionado. This thirty year old gifted actress is blessed with stunning good looks, has at least a dozen tattoos, and shows no signs of slowing down her collecting of body art.
Her tattoos are a reflection of her personality, exotic and with more than just a hint of dangerous sensuality. This is a women with an edge and a true lover of body art. A woman who professes she likes to play with knives in bed and who doesn't hesitate to have the name of the man she loves tattooed on her. And when he exits stage left, she doesn't hesitate to have it lasered off just as quickly.
Angelina has made the tribal dragon one of the most popular tattoos for women, and sparked an intense interest in the traditional tattooing of Southeast Asia. Jolie has large numbers of web sites devoted to her worship and her popularity shows no signs of waning as she puts her own personal spin on the emerging genre of female action-stars. Jolie's tattoo commitment apparently extends to her retaining her own make-up artist whose sole job it is to cover-up her extensive body art, a process rumored to take over an hour.
And as far as Internet searches for tattoos go, the burning question that tattoo enthusiasts want answered is this, "When and with what design is Brad Pitt going to get tattooed?"
2. Nicole Richie - A search for Nicole Richie's tattoos turns up hundreds of entries on Google. The twenty-five year old Richie is far more adventuresome in the body art department than her The Simple Life cohort Paris Hilton and hasn't been shy about hiding her nipple-piercing either. Richie can take solace in the fact that when it comes to tattoos, she is far more popular online than a certain young Hotel heiress we know. The actor and The Simple Life star has at least nine tattoos, including a pair ballerina slippers - her father Lionel Richie wrote her a song, Ballerina Girl - and wings on her back, to go along with the aforementioned nipple piercing.
3. 50 Cent - "Fiddy-cent", the thirty-year old Rapper, Record Producer and aspiring actor, is the most popular tattooed man on the planet these days, he is in fact a cultural phenomenon. Every mention of his name in the news spikes searches and interest in his tattoos. His media feud with former associate and protégé The Game, shot the formerly obscure musician into tattoo search prominence.
Fifty has extensive body art, including complete coverage of his back, a piece that has to be one of the world's most well-known tattoos. The South Side Fifty back-piece on 50 Cent has become a signature, nearly as recognizable as his face and his music. He is also America's most controversial music star because of his glorification of the gangster thug life, in which his extensive tattoo must be said to play a major role. Many African-Americans are limited by their skin tone to getting body art done primarily using black ink, but that has in no way limited the quality of 50's tattoos.
4. Britney Spears - This twenty-five year old singer, Mom and sometime actress has tattoos of a fairy on her lower back, a small daisy circling her second toe on right foot, a butterfly leaving a vine on left foot, and a flower with Chinese symbol for mystery in middle on lower stomach. She also has three Hebrew characters on back of her neck - a Kabala connection perhaps? - a pair of pink dice inside left wrist, and apparently others...
Spears also has a pierced belly button and a pierced right nipple. Like her fashion sense and matrimonial record, you sometimes wonder what compels Spears to do what she does when it comes to tattoos. By getting an odd assortment of small tattoos all over her body, she runs the risk of looking like someone has gone crazy with a rubber-stamp. Her tattoos, the butterfly, fairy, Chinese symbol and others, do not show a terrible amount of imagination or originality. They are the same tattoos picked off the wall by a million other teenage girls in a thousand tattoo parlors in every Mall and Trailer Park in middle America.
Husband Kevin "K-Fed" Federline is tattooed as well.
5. The Rock - Dwayne Douglas Johnson, born in 1972, the thirty-four year old has a Brahma bull tattoo - he is a Taurus - tattooed on his right biceps and a large Polynesian-style tattoo piece on upper left arm and shoulder. Johnson, who is part Samoan, has claimed that the Polynesian tattoo is a traditional Samoan piece, but it more closely resembles Marquessan tattooing than the traditional Samoan Pe'a. The Rock chose the tattoo specifically to pay homage to his ethnic heritage.
Johnson first gained popularity as a standout in the world of wrestling. In the WWE, (World Wrestling Entertainment) before becoming The Rock, Johnson was known as Rocky Maivia, in homage to his father, Rocky Johnson, and his maternal grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia. Since his entry into acting, Johnson continues to be known simply as The Rock.
6. Alyssa Milano - Not far behind Jolie is the amazing Alyssa Milano in popularity in tattoo searches. The thirty-four year Milano is no longer the little girl we all remember from 'Who's the Boss'. Although her acting career is perhaps less stellar than Jolie's, Milano has worked steadily in a string of lower-budgeted films and is once again a television star on 'Charmed'. And this is a woman who has over forty web sites devoted to her. She has seven tattoos that we know of, some of them beautiful work, and that have been fully revealed in photos taken of her by paparazzi at various topless beaches and resorts around the world.
7. Eminem - The thirty-three year old Marshall Bruce Mathers III is another cultural phenomenon. Eminem, a Grammy and Oscar-winner, is one of today's most popular and controversial rapper. The Rapper, producer, and actor has dog tags tattooed around his neck, a large mushroom on his left shoulder, his daughter's name, "Hailie Jade", a gothic style bracelet on his left wrist, "Slit Here" on his right wrist, a D on his right forearm, a 12 on his left forearm, one tattoo standing for Eminem on one side of chest, one tattoo standing for Slim Shady on the other side, a design on right bicep, and several others...
8. David Robert Joseph Beckham - The thirty-year old soccer star is widely regarded as the most recognized footballer in the world. "Becks" is as famed for his lifestyle, famous-in-her own-right celebrity wife, Victoria (who also appears on this list), trappings of wealth, media attention and marketing potential as he is for the quality of his crossings and ability to hit free kicks and corners from long range. Beckham has the words "BROOKLYN" (son's name) across lower back, "ROMEO" (other son) above a well-known crucifixion scene on upper back, wife Victoria's name in Hindi, the Roman numeral VII (7 was his Man United jersey number) on the underside of right arm and other tattoos. Beckham wrote extensively of his tattoos and what they meant to him and their symbolic value in his autobiography, My Side".
9. Pamela Anderson - You can't talk about tattooed celebrities much longer, especially beautiful ones, and not mention thirty-eight year old Pamela Anderson. This former Playmate, Bunny of the Year and Baywatch Babe helped change television and she was an undeniable phenomenon at the beginning of the Internet explosion. Anderson has been a top ten tattoo Internet search for as long as there has been an Internet. Go figure. Lately her search numbers have been declining and the reason may be that she's been in the public eye so long that interest in her is beginning to wane. Anderson has some wonderful black work as skin art, and I am particularly impressed with her back piece. Her barbed-wire arm band spawned thousands and thousands of imitators. And imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Ex-husband Tommy Lee also makes the tattoo list.
10. Drew Barrymore - Rounding out the Top Ten in the skin art and popularity contest is Drew Barrymore. The thirty-one year old Drew Blythe Barrymore has sported body art for more than a decade. Like Alyssa Milano, we all remember Barrymore growing up in front of the camera, starting of course with ET. Better yet, Ms. Barrymore is so comfortable with her skin and it's many decorations that she posed for a famous Playboy pictorial in the January 1995 issue. As a result she has some of the best photographed tattoos of any celebrity in the public eye. Barrymorehas at least five tattoos that we've seen so far. Who knows what the future holds for one of our favorite actors, producers and Angels?
11. Robert "Robbie" Peter Maximillion Williams - The popular thirty-two year old British Pop Star has a spectacular Maori design on his left arm, a Celtic cross on his right hip, a lion with "BORN TO BE MILD" inscribed underneath it and "ELVIS, GRANT ME SERENITY" above it on his right arm. The handsome crooner also has musical notes and Beatles lyrics tattooed on the small of his back, A Saint holding a cross with the name "JACK FARREL" (his grandfather) underneath it on the inside of his right arm, the word "MOTHER" on the outside of the same arm, and the French words "Chacun A Son Gout" (everybody has there own unique style and Robbie is apparently no exception) on top of his chest, and several others. What sets Williams apart among celebrity tattoo enthusiasts is the large number of Memorial tattoos dedicated to members of his family, a sentimental side to his flamboyant public persona.
12. Christina Maria Aguilera - The twenty-five year old Pop Star has "Xtina" prominently tattooed on the back of her neck, what appears to be a small flower on her left wrist, an unusual looking design on the inside of her left forearm, a rumored design on the small of her back, and an unknown tattoo just below her bikini line. As well-known for her unorthodox fashion style as her four octave vocal range, Aguilera also has numerous piercings to go with her body art, including her left nostril, a labret, her right nipple, and reputedly several genital piercings
13. Travis Barker - The thirty-one year old musician is best known as the former drummer of band Blink 182. Barker has a large checkered-flag design on both sides of his neck, a large banner inscribed with "Can I Say" across his collar bones, the outlines of nude women on opposite sides of his upper chest, a large "Boom Box" radio on his stomach, a large design on his mid-lower back, both arms sleeved - meaning that they are covered in tattoo designs for their entire length - (one arm contains a Virgin Mary dedicated to his mother), and his left leg has a logo from a Descendents album.
14. Tommy Lee Bass - Best known as Tommy Lee and erstwhile husband to beautiful blonde cultural icons Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson, this Rocker and drummer for the metal band Motley Crue has too many tattoos to list, but including a huge "Mayhem" arced across his stomach. The forty-three year old Lee has what amounts to a tattoo body suit and sleeves, and both of his ex-wives have tattoos.
15. Pink - The twenty-seven year old Alecia Beth Moore is a Pop Star with a unique sense of style. The singer has a shooting star and angel on the back of her left shoulder, "what goes around comes around" tattooed on her right wrist, "tru luv" a little higher up her, tattooed on her upper left thigh is "Mr. Pink", an oriental style dragon. Pink also has a cartoon cat on her lower stomach, and the barcode from the album Missundaztood just below her hairline on back of her neck. Rounding out her rather eclectic collection of tattoos are a frog on her left foot, the Japanese kanji symbol for luck/happiness on her right ankle, an infinity sign on her hip, a red star on her hand, and her Father's and brother's army dog tags on her left foot, in addition to several others... Take a deep breath! Pink recently married moto-cross racer Cory hart, who is heavily tattooed and who owns the Huntington-Hart Tattoo shop in the Palms Casino in Las Vegas featured in the reality television show, "Inked".
16. Sarah Michelle Gellar - The twenty-eight year old Gellar has very few tattoos, but talk about the power of the Internet! Although Buffy the Vampire Slayer has gone into re-runs, Gellar still gets tremendous number of searches. Buffy has the Chinese symbol for integrity on the small of her back and the Tao symbol for patience on her ankle. She also has over a hundred and fifty sites that can't get enough of this gorgeous Vampire Slayer. She is married to Freddie Prinze Jr. who is also tattooed.
17. Paris Hilton - Heiress and socialite, star of The Simple Life, Hilton once had boyfriend Back Street Boy Nick Carter's name tattooed on her right buttock (since removed by laser). That's it. Her place on the list of Top Twenty Five Tattooed Celebrities probably has more to do with her penchant for losing track of her home movies and her fiance du jour than anything else. Her name is an interesting barometer of popular culture.
18. Brad Pitt - see Angelina Jolie. Forty-two year old William Bradley "Brad" Pitt does not even actually have a tattoo that we know of. Such is the power of celebrity. Pitt's relationship with Angelina Jolie has created so much heat, and rumors that he might be getting a tattoo have been so fast and furious that it has catapulted him onto the list of Top Twenty Five Tattoo Celebrities in 2005. The rumored tattoo is apparently a piece of Arabic script for energy, but we have yet to see any hard evidence of it. (we now have an image that confirms it's existence)
19. Bam Margera - Twenty-six year old Brandon Cole "Bam" Margera, is an actor and pro skateboarder who has a heart-a-gram symbol tattooed on his lower stomach, and a large tattoo design on his right side. A fixture with the MTV and Jackass Generations.
20. Victoria Caroline Beckham - The thirty-two year old former Spice Girl (Posh Spice) has five stars on her lower back -one for each family member, and her famous husband's initials DB - yes, that David Beckham - on the underside of left wrist.
21. Johnny Depp - This Oscar-nominated Actor has many, many tattoos, and was an enthusiast of body art long before it's pop cultural renaissance. As in so many things, the forty-three year old Depp was far ahead of the curve in matters of fashion, style and personal taste. He famously changed a tattoo dedicated to his then flame Winona Ryder, from "Winona Forever", to "Wino Forever".
22. Bow Wow - Eighteen year old Shad Gregory Moss, has a large clown tattooed on his left shoulder, along with small initials on his right arm and several others. The young rapper released his first album, Beware of Dog, at the age of thirteen. Bow Wow was a successful recording artist, if something of a novelty originally, but he has continued his success as he has matured.
23. Method Man - Thirty-five year old Clifford Smith has a tattoo on his left arm that appears to be the word "LIFE or DEATH", depending on which angle you look at it. Method Man is a rapper and member of the Hip Hop collective, Wu-Tang Clan. He is also well-known for his work both as a solo artist and with frequent collaborator Redman, as well as for recent forays into acting.
24. The Game - Twenty-seven year old Jayceon Terrell Taylor raised his media profile the old fashioned way, by publicly feuding with another celebrity. But in this case, the feud with 50 Cent was between mentor and protege and few have the profile that 50 Cent does. The result was that the Grammy nominated The Game received a huge amount of public and media attention and the attending Internet buzz that goes with the territory. The Game is considered by many to be a driving force in bringing back the West Coast Hip Hop scene, in direct competition to his East Coast counterparts. Both of Taylor's arms are heavily tattooed and he has his name on his neck as well.
25. Mike Tyson - Among the many celebrities who are prominently tattooed, thirty-nine year old Mike Tyson's tattoos are particularly interesting. He has been very articulate about the symbolism and what he proclaims are the profoundly personal nature of his tattoos, featuring among others Arthur Ashe, Che Guevera and Mao Zedong. Tyson has stated that his tattoos are powerful personal totems.
Tyson's Maori-inspired facial tattoo created quite a furor when it was done several years ago. Within mainstream pop culture it turns out, there are still a few tattoo stigmas left to be broken. Mike Tyson has pushed the celebrity tattoo envelope in a completely new direction.
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|Celeb Tattoos | Facts & Stats | Designs & Symbols | History | Culture | Links | Tattoo Galleries | Contact|