Rihanna had a gun tattooed under her right arm in the aftermath of her infamous 2009 bust-up with boyfriend Chris Brown as a "symbol of strength".

The couple's romance ended after the Kiss Kiss star viciously attacked the singer on the eve of the Grammy Awards in February, 2009.

Just a month after the fight, Rihanna headed to a tattoo parlour to get a new piece of body art, and she has now revealed the meaning behind the inking.

She tells Britain's Elle magazine, "Everybody wanted to know what was happening in my life (at the time). Is she a drug addict? No. Is she an alcoholic? No. Is she a victim? No. That's when I got the gun. It was a symbol of strength - it was 'I'll never be a victim!' I had all these eyes on me, critic after critic after critic. I'd heard so many things I was kind of numb to it."

Brown was convicted of assaulting Rihanna and remains on probation for the crime, but they have since revived their relationship.