Zendaya honors late Ronnie Spector, whom she may play in forthcoming biopic

Spector passed away at age 78 on Wednesday after a bout with cancer.

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Ronnie Spector, lead singer of the iconic girl group The Ronettes, passed away Wednesday following a brief bout with cancer. Zendaya, whom Spector hand-picked to portray her in the film about her life, publicly mourned the rocker’s death on social media.

Zendaya composed a long tribute of Spector, who was 78, on Instagram. The Emmy winner accompanied the post with a photo of Spector in her younger days sitting on the arm of the director’s chair with her name on it. Also included was a photo of Zendaya and Spector together in 2018.

“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,” Zendaya wrote. “There’s not a time I saw her without her iconic red lips and full teased hair, a true rockstar through and through.”

The Ronettes were known just as much for their trendsetting sexiness as they were for their music. They scored major hits in the 1960s, such as “Be My Baby,” “Baby I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain.” They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

93rd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 25: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this handout photo provided by A.M.P.A.S., Zendaya attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Petit/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)

Zendaya was tapped to play Spector in a biopic, as reported by Variety. The film would be based on Spector’s memoir, Be My Baby; the rights for the film were acquired by A24 and New Regency.

“Ronnie, being able to know you has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Zendaya wrote. “Thank you for sharing your life with me, I could listen to your stories for hours and hours.”

The Malcolm and Marie actress praised Spector for her innovative and singular style and persona, which inspired many other artists.

“Thank you for your unmeasured talent, your unwavering love for performing, your strength, resilience, and your grace,” Zendaya continued. “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.”

The Euphoria star ended her post by saying, “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.”

While some details on the production of Spector’s biopic have still yet to be disclosed, the film will cover the era of The Ronettes as well as Spector’s divorce from music producer, Phil Spector, and her battle to get the rights to her music, according to Harper’s Bazaar. Pulitzer-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury is in the running for screenwriter.

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