James Arthur got his King Arthur inspired hand tattoo removed because his mother hated it, celebrity tattooist Kevin Paul has revealed.
The ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ hitmaker got the elaborate inking of the legendary 6th Century British king sitting on a throne on his right hand shortly after he won ‘The X Factor’ back in 2012.
Kevin was responsible for etching the design onto the pop star and was brought in by Simon Cowell and his team to tidy up James’ multiple tattoos which had been done by amateurs.
When he found out James was having laser treatment to get rid of the Arthur inking he wasn’t surprised because he knew the singer/songwriter’s mum Shirley Ashworth never liked it.
Speaking to BANG Showbiz, Kevin shared: “When James was on ‘The X Factor’ I got brought in to help him out because he’d been living in a bedsit and he had no money and he used to let his mates tattoo him with really bad equipment, really dodgy ink and they were all really crap. I basically went in from the day he won and had to re-do all his work and sort all that stuff out; the one on his hand is the only tattoo that I did fresh, it was on clean skin and it was a very personal one to him … His mum hated it and that was the big reason he got rid of it, he really wanted to please his mum and she hated the tattoo so the day after he had that done he wanted to laser that off. But then six months later we finally finished it and he said he liked it and now he has gone to have it lasered off. The key thing for him getting rid of it was his mum, I remember it really well because I got a call from the agent saying he’s freaking out after his mum seen it. He did a gig on ‘The X Factor’ tour and his mum saw it on screen and kicked off really bad about it, that’s why he wanted it gone because she wasn’t happy.”
Kevin’s celebrity client list includes Rihanna, Harry Styles and Ed Sheeran, who he has been creating a chest sleeve for in recent months.
The TV tattoo expert isn’t bothered that James has gotten rid of his work and he admits there’s no love lost between the pair because he thinks the 28-year-old musician is “arrogant” and was ungrateful for the work he did for him after ‘The X Factor’.
Kevin said: “I’m not bothered by him getting it removed. I’ve tattooed most of James’ arms, it makes no difference to me. It’s more his arrogance and his lack of respect for what I was doing for him that upset me, that affected me more. People do fall out love with tattoos and do what to change them, the tattoo was done professionally and was a good tattoo if wants rid of it that’s fine – it was more the lack of respect for me as an artists which is what my issue was. I don’t think he’s lost that arrogance now I think he’s just got a good manager hiding it.”
James was dropped by Syco in 2014 following a string of controversies, including getting embroiled in a Twitter spat with battle rapper Micky Worthless that saw him use derogatory homophobic language in a diss track.
After recording his second album ‘Back from the Edge’ and releasing it in 2016 he was re-signed by Simon’s Syco label.