The current queen of pop, otherwise known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, has a serious love for ink. She has a whopping twenty as of now. One curious fact about the bundle is that they started out all on the left side of her body. Apparently, she promised her dad she’d keep them all on one side of her body. But at a certain point, she got tired of the restriction! Either that or she’s just run out of real estate. Just like we’d all expect from Gaga, there are numerous interesting stories about all of her adornments and their meanings.
The Treble Clef & The Rose
The young rebel got a fake ID and her first tattoo at age 17, a treble clef on her lower back. In 2008 she covered it up with a beautiful rose update by artist Kat Von D. It WAS kind of unfortunate in execution and placement. Impetuous youth! The singer has expressed some regrets over the treble clef and its’ “tramp stamp” location, so she transformed it with a piece at least five times as large. “Literally this entire side piece I have is a compensation for that one tattoo,” she has said.
Three sit on her left shoulder, rendered simply with black lines. These were also done by Kat Von D. Gaga is drawn to the feminine feeling of Kat Von D’s designs. She told Kat: “You do beautiful work. It’s really elegant and the lines are perfect.”
Tokyo Love & Dad
These tattoos are only related in their left-side neighborhood!
In 2009 Gaga did a shoot with famous Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. The S&M inspired session involved her being bound and painted. Araki signed all his pictures with “Toyko Love” and Lady Gaga got that inked on above her daisies in his handwriting. “He did not photograph my image; he photographed my soul,” she said.
You can see her simple “Dad” tribute here close by. She added that as a tribute to her father Joe Germanotta after she convinced him to undergo open-heart surgery. She wrote her song Speechless as a plea for him to get the surgery so that she wouldn’t lose him.
She wrote her song “Speechless” as a plea for him to get the surgery. When she told her father about her plans to honor him with a tattoo she says “he got all teary-eyed and he said, ‘Well, you’re running out of real estate, so don’t get it too big.’” She announced her plans for the new body art in October 2009 and had it done shortly after.
This was added in February 2019. “La vie en rose” is a song she sang to the Jackson Maine character in “A Star is Born” and is also what she sang to the same man, actor and director Bradley Cooper, which convinced him to cast her.
The Monster Paw
Just behind her left armpit on the side of her back, is an overside hand in claw formation, a “monster paw”, the international sign of a Lady Gaga devotee.
This is Gaga’s own nickname, and she got it done a month after the paw, dedicated to her fans. It’s a paisley design with a script style font and was done to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of The Fame Monster, her debut album.
An Ode to a Philosopher
In 2009 Gaga added a commemoration to her favorite. Philosopher, Maria Rilke. She got German quote from “Letters to a Young Poet” inked on the inside of her left arm. The translation is: “Confess to yourself in the deepest hour of the night whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. Dig deep into your heart, where the answer spreads its roots in your being, and ask yourself solemnly, Must I write?” To Lady Gaga this quote is about her need to express herself through her music.
The Date In the Middle of That Quote
If you look closely, you can find 12/18/1974 etched in the middle of that quote. It’s the date when her aunt Joanne passed away.
Speaking of Joanne
“Got Joanne tattooed on my arm in her actual signature. My dad got one too. With an angel on his shoulder.” She says on Instagram.
Right next to Lady Gaga’s German tat sits her “Little Monsters” that is inked in a decorative script. The queen of pop really loves her fan and this tattoo is dedicated to her adoring fans. “Little Monsters” is the name given by Lady Gaga to her fans.
The Peace Sign
She got the upside down or not (depending on how you look at it) peace sign in 2006 as a tribute to John Lennon. She says she got it done the way it is so that when SHE looks at it, it’s right side up.
“Born This Way”
A tribute to her album of the same name, this tat is on her thigh. In a radio interview, Gaga revealed the meaning: “I had My Little Ponies. I was obsessed with the idea of a creature that was born with something magical that sort of made them the misfit in the world of the stallion. I’m actually quite obsessed with unicorns,” she said. “They are, in essence, a mythical creature. The unicorn is born magical and it’s not the unicorn’s fault and it doesn’t make it any more or less special or any less unique, but it can’t help that it was born with that magic.”
She likes marking both family and creative milestones! She got this one months before the release of the album, giving her fans a little hint of what was to come. ARTPOP is more than just the name of her album, it’s also an expression of her life and career. “I live between two things–I live between art and pop all the time,” she says.
This dainty piece is sort of like a tattoo emoji. She got it on her Born This Way tour in 2012. It was done by Henk Schiffmacher at Amsterdam Tattoo Museum, in September. “New Tat. Stamp of His Mermaid,” she wrote.
This rarely seen tat was done live by artist Michael Mahone, inside a giant perfume bottle and in front of thousands of viewers, at her fragrance launch. She’d even changed into lingerie for the occasion. The renaissance flavored design was inspired by the 1917 book “A Handbook of Ornament.” Gaga prepared for the tattoo by shaving a triangle shape into her hair, but let the hair grow over the tattoo a few months later.
This one’s behind her ear and features a Catholic reference with the ‘I’ done as a cross. The singer revealed that the font is actually a compilation that came from three fans — all different ages and from different neighborhoods — and is meant to represent how music brings people together.
Breaking her promise to Dad, she got this on the inside of her right bicep in 2014. It was designed by her friend and “Cheek to Cheek” collaborator Tony Bennet.
The Cute Little Mouse
Not that we’d ever associate Gaga herself with a mouse! The quirky critter has an “X” over one eye and carries a sewing needle and three. It’s in honor of her younger sister Natali, whom she called “Mouse” as a child. The thread spells her nickname “Nat”.
The Sexual Abuse Survivor
Lady Gaga performed her nominated song “Til It Happens to You” at the 2016 Oscars. She co-wrote the song with Diane Warren for the 2015 Documentary “The Hunting Ground”. The song highlights the pain of sexual assault, of which the singer has been a victim. She was joined onstage at the Oscars by other survivors and later added this tattoo as a symbol of solidarity.
The David Bowie Tribute
She got this art two days before her 2016 Grammy montage tribute to the recently deceased singer. She showed off the new ink while out and about in New York City in a strategically cut dress. She even Snapchatted the process! he body art was done by Mark Mahoney at Shamrock Social Club in West Hollywood and is a copy of the Aladdin Sane album cover.