Over the years, the Maroon 5 frontman has opened up to PEOPLE about his vast tattoo collection — find out the meaning behind each
Adam Levine‘s performance at the 2019 Super Bowl LIII Pepsi Halftime Show with his band Maroon 5 left the Internet in a number of debates. First, his brown geometric-print tank top went viral for reminding many Twitter users of their Target throw pillows and some of their curtains. Then there were heated discussions on whether or not the frontman made the right call by going shirtless for the last part of the performance after Janet Jackson faced so much backlash for her infamous wardrobe malfunction during her 2004 Super Bowl set with Justin Timberlake.
Controversy aside, many on Twitter were fixated by the vast amount of body ink Levine has accumulated, while others were intrigued by his back tattoo featuring a mermaid holding a skull. And the interest in his tat collection continues to grow.
Luckily, we’ve been keeping an eye on the singer’s ever-growing body art since he graced the cover of PEOPLE in 2013 as the Sexiest Man Alive. During his interview, he talked all about his ink and the sweet and sentimental reasons behind many of his tattoos. Here’s your complete break-down of Levine’s thoughtful, personal and quirky array of tats.
Dove – upper left bicep
“This was my first tattoo,” Levine told PEOPLE in 2013 for his Sexiest Man Alive cover. “I was 21. It was five days after 9/11. I felt this needed to say something with this peaceful thing on my body.”
“Los Angeles” – upper right bicep
“Simple case of hometown love,” the singer told PEOPLE. “Not many people were born and raised in L.A. Gotta wear that badge of pride.”
“California” – stomach
He later got the word, “California” tattooed across his stomach, perhaps another nod to his roots.
“I don’t think that you have to necessarily ascribe meaning behind every tattoo,” he told PEOPLE about his beaded necklace choice.
Tiger – right arm
“This was inspired by my love of this amazing book of Tibetan drawings,” he told PEOPLE.
Shark side tattoo
“I’ve always had a strange fascination with sharks. I actually think they are the most fascinating creatures on Earth. I guess the tattoo had something to do with that,” he told PEOPLE in 2013.
Eagle – ribcage
“Tattoos wind up being this strange road map or narrative over the years,” he explained to PEOPLE. “They always remind me of this long, weird, awesome journey life has been.”
Sanskirt – left chest
“A few years ago I fell in love with yoga. The word ‘tapas’ stands for fire… passion… This keeps me connected to something that changed my life.”
True Love – fingers
During his 2013 Sexiest Man Alive interview, Levine said his hands and legs were off-limits when it came to tattooing. “I don’t do below the waist. You can’t do the hands, that’s sacred too, that’s what you make things with, I’m tied to my hands. I just can’t do hands.”
But he clearly changed his mind, and ended up getting the words “True Love” tattooed across his fingers which he debuted by grabbing wife Behati Prinsloo’s butt in an Instagram photo in 2017.
Mermaid – back tattoo
He began his large back mural with a mermaid tattoo that features angel wings and is cradling a skull, then added an intricate scene around it showing crashing waves, a lost ship and swallows, which took his tattoo artist, Bryan Randolph, six months to create, according to Levine.
Mom – right wrist
Levine told PEOPLE that this was “a last-ditch effort to gain my mother’s approval.”
“She hates this one slightly less than the others,” he added.
“Noah” – right side of abdomen
In an Instagram photo snuggling up to his daughter Dusty Rose, the singer shared a glimpse of the word “Noah” across his stomach, which may be a nod to his mother, who’s maiden name is Noah, which also happens to be Levine’s middle name.