Zendaya mourns legendary singer Ronnie Spector in a heartfelt tribute ahead of her portrayal of the musical icon in an upcoming A24-produced biopic.
“This news just breaks my heart. 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,” the “Dunes” star wrote in a lengthy post on her Instagram account alongside two photos, one of which is a candid shot she snapped of herself with the rock star in December 2018.
“Ronnie, being able to know you has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Thank you for sharing your life with me, I could listen to your stories for hours and hours,” the 25-year-old continued. She thanked the pop star for sharing her life, talent, “unwavering love for performing, your strength, resilience and your grace.” She added, “There is absolutely nothing that could dim the light you cast.”
The “Euphoria” star concluded her statement by expressing gratitude for the bond the two shared. “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. Rest in great power Ronnie. I hope to make you proud.”
Zendaya’s tribute comes just one day after news broke of the “Be My Baby” singer’s passing. Spector, whose real name is Veronica Yvette Bennett, died on Wednesday, Jan. 12, following a brief battle with cancer. She was 78.
Spector was a part of the Ronettes, a ’60s girls’ group she founded with her sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley. The group only released one studio album, “Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica” that included hits such as “Be My Baby” and “Walking in the Rain.” Their legacy lasted well after the group was dismantled in 1967. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Spector was married to producer Phil Spector, who helped compose the group’s “Be My Baby” song. Spector would later continue to make music, including “Take Me Home Tonight” with artist Eddie Money.
Zendaya is set to star as Ronnie in the film based on Spector’s autobiography “Be My Baby,” which she co-wrote with Vince Waldron. Spector hand-selected the star to play her and is an executive producer on the forthcoming movie. The film will follow the rock star’s early career, focusing on the formation of The Ronettes group and their signing to Phil Spector’s Philles Records.
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