How Many Tattoos Does Ed Sheeran Have?

by Jaclyn Anglis

Ed Sheeran has some new ink. The British pop star shared a snap of the latest tattoo in his ever-growing collection on Instagram on Aug. 11. The "Thinking Out Loud" singer captioned the shot of a giant lion on his chest simply, "Halfway and ouch." The new tattoo is just one of many, so some fans might be interested to know how many tattoos Ed Sheeran has altogether.

Luckily, the folks at MTV put together a very informative and interactive "Ed Sheeran Tat Map" in 2014, which showcases the star's known arm tattoos in cartoon format, as well as a link to a real-life photo and an explanation for each individual tat. Because of the map, we know that prior to the lion, Sheeran had at least 47 separate tattoos on his arms. So, the lion makes 48 altogether? Probably, unless he has some extra tats that he's decided not to publicize, in which case the number would be even higher. As you might expect with Sheeran being an interesting personality in general, he has quite an interesting story behind his tats and why he decided to indulge in a lot of permanent body art.

The latest tattoo, the lion, started off as a different plan altogether. Since the 24-year-old wanted to get a tattoo to commemorate selling out three shows at Wembley Stadium, he was originally planning on getting a tattoo of the floor plan for the stadium, but then decided against it. "Originally I was going to get the floor plan tattooed on my side, but that seemed a bit ridiculous," the star said to BBC. He chose the lion instead since lions are the England national soccer team mascot.

And this is not the only tat that commemorates an exciting career moment for Sheeran. He has the word "Red" tatted on him, which represents pal Taylor Swift's album and tour of the same name. He opened for every single one of her shows on that tour, so that was obviously a high point for him. He also has a tattoo of a maple leaf to commemorate all the love he has received from his Canadian fans. And he has a tattoo of the word "Bloodstream" for his song of the same name, and a tattoo of a lizard with a heart to symbolize another one of his songs.

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This isn't to say that all of his tats symbolize career growth. Some of them are just funny, like his Heinz ketchup tat. And others just represent something he is a fan of, like his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ink. But regardless of the meaning, it is pretty cool that there is a story behind each one. It's like a picture book open for everyone to see, and it seems like fans love to read it!