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Rihanna Moonlights As Tattoo Artist, Angers Health Dept.

July 2, 2009 6:06 PM ET

Rihanna's love of tattoos is no secret, as it seems like every time the "Umbrella" singer is photographed, she's sporting new ink somewhere. According to MTV, RiRi took her painful hobby to a new extreme yesterday at New York tattoo parlor East Side Ink, trying her hand at being a tattoo artist by inscribing the letter "R" into the bodies of the parlor staff. MTV says Rihanna initially came in to get lessons from her personal tattoo artist BangBang, but the student soon became the teacher when Rihanna tattooed BangBang and two other artists, plus East Side Ink owner Yadira, who got an "R" on his leg as well. "We had a blast," Yadira told MTV. "It was so funny and cute." And, apparently, illegal.

TMZ reports that, following news of Rihanna's tattoo clinic, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said they'd go to East Side Ink to investigate the incident. "Only licensed tattoo artists can administer tattoos in the city according to the City's Health Code. We are sending someone down to follow up on this," the NYC Health Department told TMZ, who have video of Rihanna putting her permanent art on the parlor workers. The whole tatting incident might cost Rihanna, literally: If the singer is charged, the misdemeanors carry fines of $300 for the first offense, $500 for the second and $1,000 for the third. If an investigation is opened up, East Side Ink might face some fines from the New York Health Department as well.

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