The Thinking Out Loud hitmaker hit headlines earlier this month (Aug15) when he revealed a large black and orange lion sprawling across his chest, and his tattooist even gave interviews about the inking.

Sheeran was ridiculed by many critics for the lion tattoo, and he even took to social media to defend it, but now he is implying it was all a fake.

He took to on Wednesday (26Aug15) and posted a picture of his tattoo-free chest, writing, "was only joking about the lion".

However, on closer inspection it appears the pop star is wearing heavy cover-up cosmetics on his torso, leaving fans to speculate that the inking is real but had been covered over for a photoshoot.