The Thinking Out Loud hitmaker debuted a picture of his latest body art on Instagram.com on Tuesday (11Aug15) and the large orange and black tattoo, which sprawls across most of his chest, was met with shock and ridicule online.

Keane frontman Tom Chaplin was among those who mockEd Sheeran on Twitter.com, writing, "Please tell me this is a prank. Cos if it isn't, Ed Sheeran has a really bad picture of a lion on his chest forever," prompting the singer to defend his tattoo, writing, "I like it and that's the only opinion that matters."

Sheeran's inking was done by celebrity tattoo artist Kevin Paul at the star's home in Suffolk, England on Monday (10Aug15) and the lion, which took seven hours to complete, is "only the beginning", according to Paul.

He tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "Ed is nowhere near done. There are going to be even bigger tattoos in the next few months... He's going to have his entire back covered, and then across his ribs. It'll be incredible."