Zendaya Pens Tribute To Ronnie Spector Ahead Of Playing The Late Singer In Biopic

Ronnie Spector with The Ronettes singing Be My Baby for The Big TNT Show, and Zendaya as Rue in Euphoria
(Image credit: American International Pictures/HBO)

On Wednesday, the music world lost a legend when it was reported that Ronnie Spector, lead singer of iconic ‘60s girl group The Ronettes, died at the age of 78. It's yet another loss at the top of the year. The icon is best known for her powerhouse vocals in classic songs like “Be My Baby,” “Do I Love You?” and their versions of Christmas songs like “Sleigh Ride.” Spider-Man and Euphoria actress Zendaya has been getting ready to play Spector on the screen, and was heartbroken to hear of her passing. 

The 25-year-old took to her Instagram to pen a tribute to the late singer, which includes a polaroid of herself with the singer. Check out Zendaya’s thoughtful tribute to Ronnie Spector: 

In the post, Zendaya called Ronnie Spector a “true rockstar” in her personal experience and shared that being able to know the singer has been “one of the greatest honors” of her life. The Euphoria actress alluded to Spector sharing stories with her and highlighted how much she admires her, along with calling her a “magical force of greatness.” It sounds like Zendaya had a rare experience with The Ronettes lead singer, as she said “I wish everyone got to experience you the way I did.” 

Zendaya ended the powerful tribute by sharing her hopes to make the singer proud as she continues to get ready to play her in a movie. In late 2020, Zendaya signed on to portray Ronnie Spector in a biopic being produced by A24 and New Regency. The movie is expected to be titled Be My Baby, and will be based on Spector’s memoir of the same name. 

The script is reportedly being penned by In Treatment writer Jackie Sibblies Drury and produced by Zendaya, La La Land’s Marc Platt, Adam Siegel, Mark Itkin and Tom Shelly. Spector was attached as an executive producer. Spector chose Zendaya specifically to portray her in her early years. 

Ronnie Spector was born Veronica Yvette Bennett in 1943 and grew up in Washington Heights, Manhattan. Her father was Irish American and her mother was Black and Cherokee. She formed The Ronettes with her elder sister Estelle and cousin Nedra Talley. They were signed by Phil Spector, who Ronnie later married. Unfortunately, as Spector wrote in her memoir, the marriage was as volatile as the record producer’s reputation. Spector infamously was convicted of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 and died while in prison serving his sentence last year.

It’s great to hear Zendaya and Ronnie Spector had time to form a relationship with one another prior to the film and her death. The actress will certainly have the stage to pay tribute to the legend on the big screen once the biopic goes into production. We send our love and best wishes to Ronnie Spector's family, friends and fans as we mourn this loss and remember the icon.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.