Zendaya pays tribute to late singer Ronnie Spector before playing her in biopic: “Hope to make you proud”

Zendaya broke her silence after the death of Ronnie Spector.

The lead singer of iconic girl group the Ronettes died on Wednesday at the age of 78 after a brief battle with cancer. The actress is expected to play Spector in a biopic.

The 25-year-old took to Instagram on Thursday and shared several photos of the musician, including a heartfelt selfie from December 2018.

“This news breaks my heart,” began the “Dune” star. “Talking about her like she’s not with us is weird because she’s incredibly full of life. There hasn’t been a moment I’ve seen her without her iconic red lips and full hair. teasing, a real rockstar through and through. “


Zendaya (left) plays Ronnie Spector in an upcoming biopic.
(Getty Images)

“Ronnie, being able to know you has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Zendaya explained. “Thank you for sharing your life with me, I could listen to your stories for hours and hours. Thank you for your boundless talent, your unwavering love for performance, your strength, your resilience and your grace.”

“There is absolutely nothing that can obscure the light you are projecting,” Zendaya continued. “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 again. I wish everyone could experience you like I did. We celebrate your beautiful life and give you all the flowers you so rightfully deserve. “

“Rest in great power Ronnie,” she concluded her post. “I hope to make you proud.”

Zendaya’s next film will be based on Spector’s 1990 autobiography, “Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts and Madness”. Variety previously reported that Spector, who served as executive producer on the project, picked Zendaya to play her.


Ronnie Spector performs on stage at Sala Apolo on June 18, 2018, in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

Ronnie Spector performs on stage at Sala Apolo on June 18, 2018, in Barcelona, ​​Spain.
(Photo by Jordi Vidal / Redferns)

In a statement released on Wednesday, Spector’s family said: “Ronnie lived her life with a sparkle in her eyes, a brave demeanor, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on her face. She was filled with love. and gratitude. ”No further details were revealed.

The Ronettes’ sexy looks and powerful vocals – along with songwriting and production help from Phil Spector – turned them into one of the first groups in the girl group era, touring in England with the Rolling Stones and befriending the Beatles.

Spector, alongside his sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley, has recorded hits with pop masterpieces like “Baby, I Love You”, “Walking in the Rain”, “I Can Hear Music” and “Be My Baby”, which was co-written by Spector, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich.

Spector, née Veronica Bennett, and her multiracial group mates grew up in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood. They started singing and dancing at clubs like Ronnie and the Relatives, becoming notable for their liberal use of eyeliner and mascara.


The Ronettes, a popular girl group from New York City, were signed by Phil Spector.

The Ronettes, a popular girl group from New York City, were signed by Phil Spector.

In March 1963, Estelle managed to organize an audition in front of Phil, known for his great style of brass and drums nicknamed the “sound barrier”. They were signed to Philles Records in 1963. After being signed they sang for other bands until Phil had the band’s recording “Be My Baby” and “Baby I Love You”. The group’s debut album, “Introducing the Fabulous Ronettes with Veronica”, was released in 1964. Five of its 12 tracks hit the US charts.

After a tour of Germany in 1967, the Ronettes went their separate ways. Spector married Phil in 1968, then she said he kept her locked up in their Beverly Hills mansion. Her memoirs tell an unfortunate story of abuse. The couple divorced in 1974. Phil was sent to prison in 2009 for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson and died in 2021.

After the Ronettes split, Spector continued to tour and make music, including “Take Me Home Tonight” with Eddie Money, the recording of Joel’s “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and recording of the 1999 EP “She Talks to Rainbows”. “, which included her very first recording of” Don’t Worry Baby “, written for her by Brian Wilson.

In 2006, she released “Last of the Rock Stars”, her first album in 20 years, and it featured appearances by The Raconters, Keith Richards, Patti Smith and the Raveonettes. In 2010, she released a Christmas doo-wop EP titled “Ronnie Spector’s Best Christmas Ever” and in 2016 released “English Heart,” her covers of songs from 60s Britain.


Ronnie Spector has had a successful solo career.

Ronnie Spector has had a successful solo career.
(Photo by Tom Sheehan / Sony Music Archive via Getty Images)

She is survived by her husband, Jonathan Greenfield, and her two sons, Jason and Austin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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