Miley Cyrus showed off not one but two new tattoos on the red carpet at the MTV VMAs last night.
The 26-year-old singer re-entered the spotlight for the first time following her separation from husband Liam Hemsworth after less than eight months of marriage.
Cyrus, who performed her latest single, ‘Slide Away’ at the glitzy MTV Video Music Awards event, which took place at the Prudential Center in New Jersey, US, wore a plunging, backless Saint Laurent minidress with a pair of simple strappy black sandals.
Her new tattoos were clearly visible in the outfit. The largest, on her left upper arm, is an intricate single-needle inking of song lyrics. It reads: “My head was feeling scared, but my heart was feeling free,” which is a lyric from The Pixies’ song, ‘The Thing’.
She also appears to have had the date 1961 written on her left hand, which is the birth year of her country singer father, Billy Ray Cyrus, who celebrated his 58th birthday last Sunday.
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Cyrus is already known to have more than 20 tattoos on her body. She declined to speak to the paparazzi at the event – letting her new inkings do all the talking.
Both were carried out by LA-based tattoo artist Winter Stone, a representative confirmed to Allure. He is a celebrity favourite who has also tattooed the likes of Hilary Duff, Lady Gaga, Joe Jonas and Emma Roberts.
Emotional tattoo aside, Cyrus has been vocal about her separation from Hemsworth, whom she had been dating on-off for a decade before their marriage in December last year.
In an Instagram post shared ahead of the weekend, she spoke of being "open and transparent with [her] fans" and said of her estranged husband, "I love Liam and always will".
In the time since her break-up, Cyrus has shared numerous pictures of herself on Instagram, including images of herself in various bikinis while travelling with Kaitlynn Cater, the ex-girlfriend of reality star Brody Jenner.
She also shared pictures of herself standing atop the Dolomites mountain range in Italy, with somewhat more cryptic captions including “Change is inevitable”.
Cyrus and Hemsworth's separation was first confirmed in a statement obtained by PEOPLE magazine on 10 August.
It reads: "Liam and Miley have agreed to separate at this time. Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what’s best while they both focus on themselves and careers. They still remain dedicated parents to all of their animals they share while lovingly taking this time apart. Please respect their process and privacy.”