Zendaya, who was cast to play Ronnie Spector in an upcoming biopic, paid tribute to the Ronettes legend Thursday a day after the singer’s death at the age of 78.
“This news just breaks my heart,” Zendaya wrote on Instagram. “To speak about her as if she’s not with us feels strange as she is so incredibly full of life. There’s not a time I saw her without her iconic red lips and full teased hair, a true rockstar through and through.”
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In Sept. 2020, it was announced that the Euphoria star had been tapped to portray Spector in an authorized biopic about the singer based on her memoir Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness, or, My Life as a Fabulous Ronette; while the film is still in development, Zendaya was able to meet Spector to discuss the role. The actress also shared a Polaroid of herself with Spector dated Dec. 2018, nearly two years before the biopic was teased.
“Ronnie, being able to know you has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Zendaya continued. “Thank you for sharing your life with me, I could listen to your stories for hours and hours. Thank you for your unmeasured talent, your unwavering love for performing, your strength, resilience and your grace. There is absolutely nothing that could dim the light you cast. I admire you so much and am so grateful for the bond we share. You are a magical force of greatness and the world of music will never be the same. I wish everyone got to experience you the way I did. We celebrate your beautiful life and give you all the flowers you so rightfully deserve.”
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Spector died Wednesday following a brief battle with cancer, her family announced Wednesday; Keith Richards, Steven Van Zandt, Brian Wilson, Darlene Love, her Ronettes bandmate Nedra Talley, La La Brooks, and Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield have all shared tributes to the girl group icon.
Zendaya’s tribute noted that her A24-produced Spector biopic will soldier on following the singer’s death. “Rest in great power Ronnie. I hope to make you proud,” Zendaya wrote.
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