Admit it, when Cheryl Cole revealed the true size of her English roses tattoo last year, you were shocked that the polished pop star had opted for such a large, in-your-face piece. But did you know that the impressive derriere tattoo was actually part of a “bucket list” Cheryl drafted after contracting malaria in 2010? During a recent interview with BBC1 chat host Graham Norton, Cheryl admitted that her roses tattoo, which covers her entire buttocks and lower back, was a reaction to being diagnosed with malaria, which inspired the singer to compile a bucket list (or as she calls it, a f***-it list) of things she wanted to do before she dies, including covering herself in roses.
Cheryl Cole sat down with Graham Norton on June 20 for a tell-all interview about her new album and tour, her return to The X-Factor panel alongside Simon Cowell, and yes, her infamous English roses tattoo. “After I had malaria I created a ‘f***-it list’ because life’s too short and the tattoo was on the list,” Cheryl said about her lower back and rear-end tattoo, which was inked by celebrity tattoo artist Nikko Hurtado. “He’s an exceptional artist and it was worth it. It was […] probably the cost of a small car.” Cheryl admits that she paid a fortune for the tattoo, which took a whopping 15 hours to complete, and effectively covered up three previous tats she obviously regretted, with something that reminds her to appreciate life.
It was back in July 2010, following a trip to Tanzania with dancer Derek Hough, that Cheryl Cole was struck down with malaria and hospitalized for several days after collapsing during a photo shoot. Doctors initially diagnosed the singer with exhaustion, but a secondary malaria diagnosis was made after Cheryl’s condition dramatically deteriorated the following day, accompanied by “sweating and shaking.” Malaria is a serious infectious disease that can, if not treated quickly, result in serious and sometimes fatal side effects. So it’s no wonder the pop star took the time after recovering from the illness to create a bucket list for herself.
Although Cheryl Cole’s English roses tattoo sparked quite a bit of controversy when it was revealed in all its glory last year, the pop star is certainly no stranger to tattoos. She currently has at least 12 tats to her name, including “Mrs. C” inked on the back of her neck, a tribal tat on her microphone hand, and a barbed wire tattoo featuring a rose and treble clef on her thigh. And the derriere ink certainly isn’t the last of Cheryl Cole’s tattoos we’re bound to see. The singer admitted just last year that she wants to completely cover her back in ink, much to her friends’ dismay. “My friends say, ‘Cheryl, please, you might regret it,’ but to me, it’s art.” Well, we’re looking forward to seeing more of Cheryl Cole’s “art” in the future!