The Sing hitmaker made his followers question if the large black and orange chest tattoo was a prank on Wednesday (26Aug15) when he showed off an ink-free torso on and wrote, "Was only joking about the lion".

However, fans were not convinced by the statement as he appeared to be wearing make-up on the area, and Sheeran confessed hours later that he had deliberately misled them and was only wearing cover-up cosmetics for a TV appearance.

He posted an image of his chest after some of the make-up had been wiped off, proving the lion was still there, and wrote, "Only joking, covered it up for a TV show didn't I."

His tattoo artist Kevin Paul told Britain's The Sun newspaper, "It's real... I don't know why he's playing with people."

Sheeran was the subject of ridicule from many critics online after he revealed the garish body art earlier this month (Aug15).