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Zendaya 2013 (cropped).jpg
Zendaya in 2013
Born Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman[1]
(1996-09-01) September 1, 1996 (age 19)
Oakland, California, U.S.
  • Actress
  • singer
  • dancer
  • model
Years active 2009–present
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • piano
Associated acts

Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman (born September 1, 1996), known simply as Zendaya (/zɛnˈdə/ zen-DAY), is an American actress, singer, dancer, and model. She began performing at an early age with the dance group Future Shock Oakland, the California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, and as part of her studies at the Oakland School for the Arts and Cal Shakes Summer Conservatory Program. While she was in her early teens, she embarked on her entertainment career, graduating from modeling work for Macy's and Old Navy to appearing in the video for Kidz Bop's version of Katy Perry's single, "Hot n Cold".

Late in 2009, she auditioned for the Disney Channel series eventually known as Shake It Up, landing the role of Rocky Blue. Several of the songs she performed on the show were released as singles, including 2011's "Watch Me," a duet with her co-star Bella Thorne that charted at number 86 on Billboard Hot 100. That year, she also released the single "Swag It Out". Zendaya also parlayed her Shake It Up success into hosting Make Your Mark: Ultimate Dance Off 2011 and a role in the 2012 Disney Channel original movie Frenemies, alongside Bella Thorne. That year, more of Zendaya's songs were featured on the second season of Shake It Up and the soundtrack Shake It Up: Live 2 Dance. After signing a deal with Disney imprint Hollywood Records, she began work on her first solo album.[4]

Early in 2013, Zendaya was cast on the sixteenth season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, becoming the show's youngest contestant at 16 and placing runner-up. That July, Shake It Up had concluded, and in the following months, the book Between U and Me, and her debut album Zendaya arrived. The album's lead single "Replay" was released on July 16, 2013 and was number 40 on Billboard Hot 100 and number 18 in New Zealand; it was certified platinum by the RIAA on January 30, 2014. Her self-titled debut album was released on September 17, and peaked at 51 on Billboard 200.[5] In 2015, Zendaya returned to Disney and began starring in the Disney Channel original series K.C. Undercover as the lead character, K.C. Cooper.

Early life

Zendaya was born on September 1, 1996, in Oakland, California, to father Kazembe and to mother Claire Stoermer.[6] Her father is black and her mother is white.[7] Zendaya grew as a part of the nearby California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, where her mother works as the house manager, and additionally trained with the theater's student conservatory program. Zendaya has performed in numerous stage productions. Zendaya also helped her mother seat patrons and sell raffle tickets to benefit the theater. While she was attending Oakland School for the Arts she starred as Little Ti Moune in Once on This Island at the Berkeley Playhouse and the breakout role of the male character Joe in Caroline, or Change at Palo Alto's TheatreWorks.

She studied her craft at the Cal Shakes Conservatory Program and at the American Conservatory Theater. Her other stage credits include Richard III, Twelfth Night, and As You Like It. Zendaya's official site states that her name derives from the word meaning "to give thanks" in Shona (a Bantu language native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe). She also spent three years dancing with her former dance group called Future Shock Oakland. They danced such dances as Hip Hop and Hula.[8]


2009–14: Shake It Up and Zendaya

Zendaya at the premiere of Disney Channel's "Let It Shine" in 2012

Zendaya began her professional career working as a fashion model for Macy's, Mervyns and Old Navy. She was featured in an iCarly toys ad along with Stefanie Scott.[9] She also appeared as a back-up dancer in a Sears commercial featuring Disney Channel star Selena Gomez. In 2009, she was a featured performer in the Kidz Bop music video "Hot n Cold", cover by Katy Perry, which was released on Kidz Bop 15.[9][10] She auditioned in November 2009 for the role of Rocky Blue to join the cast of Dance Dance Chicago, later changed to Shake It Up, and performed Michael Jackson's "Leave Me Alone".[11] In 2011, Zendaya released her debut single "Swag It Out", a independent label song.[12] She also starred in the book trailer for "From Bad To Cursed" by Katie Alender.[13]

On June 21, she released "Watch Me," a duet with Bella Thorne, and peaked at eighty six on the Billboard Hot 100. Her first movie role was in the 2012 film, Frenemies, a Disney Channel Original Movie.[9][14][15] On February 29, 2012 was released "Something to Dance For" for Live 2 Dance. In September 2, 2012 she signed to Hollywood Records.[16] In March 2013, Zendaya became a contestant on the sixteenth season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.[17] Her professional partner was Val Chmerkovskiy. Despite receiving praise from the judges and gaining the highest scores throughout the season, she placed runner-up on the final night.[18][19][20]

The lead single "Replay" of her self-titled debut studio album Zendaya was released on July 16, 2013. The song peaked at forty on Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by RIAA.[21] Zendaya's self-titled debut album was released on September 17, 2013 by Hollywood Records[22] and debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 51, selling around 7,458 copies in its first week.[23][24] In 2014 Zendaya released two promotional videos for the song "My Baby", the album version on January 28, and the remix version, featured TY$, Iamsu! and Bobby Brackins, on February 15.[25] She released the Disney television film Zapped, which garnered 5.67 million viewers, making it the most-watched broadcast on cable that night.[26][27] [28]

On June 16, 2014, it was announced that Zendaya would portray Aaliyah in a new Lifetime TV biopic film titled Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B,[29] The decision to bring on Zendaya to perform as Aaliyah was also met with criticism, as people felt that Zendaya was too light skinned and did not greatly resemble Aaliyah.[30] A few weeks later, it was announced that she dropped out of the movie and the project was put on hold.[31] Zendaya explained her reasons for leaving the production, stating that "The main reason is that the production value wasn't there, there were complications with the music rights, and I just felt like it wasn't being handled delicately considering the situation", also adding she tried contacting the singer's family to no avail.[32] In order to prepare for her role, the actress who replaced Zendaya in the lead role, Alexandra Shipp, watched archive footage of Aaliyah and listened to her songs in order to try to mimic her mannerisms and singing voice.[33]

2015–present: K.C. Undercover and second studio album

On January 18, 2015 Zendaya starring as K.C. in the new Disney Channel Original Series K.C. Undercover, her second work in the channel. She also confirmed to Billboard that had signed a joint deal with Republic Records, becoming the first artist to do so[34] On March 6, 2015 Timbaland confirmed that he is working with Zendaya on her second album.[35] Speaking on the album Zendaya told MTV News that the music, is a "new wave of R&B. It’s where I think it should be going, or it should be headed; it’s very old-school vibe, but it’s a new age version.”[36] In July 2015, Zendaya posted a snippet of a song produced by Timaland on instagram, following this she appeared on a radio station in Duabi and premiered a longer snippet of the song entitled “Close Up”. On November 8, she posted another video of her lip-syncing to an R&B song which would be included on her upcoming album.[37] On February 4, 2016 Zendaya released her new single "Something New" featuring Chris Brown which samples "Creep" by legendary girl group TLC. For its video T-Boz is confirmed to make a cameo.

Other ventures

In September 2012, Zendaya was featured along with rapper Lil Wayne and NBA player LeBron James in a performance of "Scream and Shout" by & Britney Spears for a television commercial for Beats by Dr. Dre Color.[38] In August 6, 2013 Zendaya released her debut book, Between U and Me: How to Rock Your Tween Years with Style and Confidence.[39] She told about the book: "I actually signed this book deal over a year ago…I worked on the book all summer and fall".[40] In 2013 Zendaya started work on a clothing line, inspired on her clothes on Shake It Up, the Shake It Up Dance Clothing Line by Zendaya. The collection features fun clothes for active girls, legwarmers, shorts, jackets, headbands and athletic apparel and accessories.[41][42] In April 2015, Zendaya hosted the Radio Disney Music Awards.[citation needed] Zendaya appeared in Taylor Swift's 2015 music video for '"Bad Blood," portraying an assassin called "Cut Throat."[43]

Zendaya's 87th Academy Awards red carpet look, which was the subject of controversy when Giuliana Rancic joked about her faux dread locks on Fashion Police has been immortalized as a Barbie doll.[44] In January 2016, Zendaya was announced as the newest spokesperson for CoverGirl.[45]


Cquote1.png I'm kind of creating my own music and I'm kind of creating my own zone, my own lane as an artist. I want to do rhythmic pop, it's not necessarily your average pop song. It has some kind of urban edge, some kind of more hip-hop-ish tones to it that kind of edge it up and do something a little different so it's not just your stereotypical pop music. Cquote2.png
—Zendaya talking about her self-titled album's musical style.[46]

Zendaya's self-titled debut album musically experiment with pop and R&B genres, as well as touching upon Electropop. The album's lyrical content tackles issues of love and heartbreak.[46] After streaming the album to radio presenter Ryan Seacrest, he commented on the album's music calling is a "pop/R&B hybrid offering for the most part", he continued to comment saying the album contained "urban cuts".[47]

Zendaya has cited Michael Jackson, Aaliyah[48] and Beyoncé as her biggest musical influences.[49] An interview to Jon Ali, she commented: "I love Beyoncé, I think she is one of the best performers out there. She works her butt off and always delivers with everything that she does. It’s a beautiful thing".[50] Other musical influences include Rihanna[51] and Bridgit Mendler.[52] Her voice has been compared to Rihanna,[53] Cassie, and JoJo.[54]

Personal life

Zendaya spent three years of dancing in a dance group called Future Shock Oakland. The group did hip hop and hula dances when she was eight.[55] As of November 2010, Zendaya lives in Los Angeles with her family and dog, a Giant Schnauzer named Midnight.[9][dated info]


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Super Buddies Lollipop Voice
2015 Close Up[56] Herself Short film
Year Title Role Notes
2010–13 Shake It Up Rocky Blue Main role
2011 Good Luck Charlie Rocky Blue "Charlie Shakes It Up" (Season 2, Episode 13)
2011 Pixie Hollow Games Fern Voice; Television film
2011 PrankStars Herself "Walk the Prank" (Season 1, Episode 3)
2012 Frenemies Halley Brandon Television film
2012 A.N.T. Farm Sequoia Jones "Creative consultANT" (Season 2, Episode 1)
2013 Dancing with the Stars Herself / Contestant Season 16
2013 America's Next Top Model Herself "The Girl Who Gets Punked" (Season 20, Episode 11)
2014 Zapped Zoey Stevens Television film
2015–present K.C. Undercover K.C. Cooper Lead role
2015 Black-ish Resheida "Daddy's Day"(Season 2, Episode 4)


Main article: Zendaya discography


Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2011 Young Artist Award Outstanding Young Ensemble in a TV Series
(shared with Bella Thorne, Davis Cleveland, Roshon Fegan, Adam Irigoyen, Kenton Duty and Caroline Sunshine)
Shake It Up Nominated [57]
2012 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Series - Leading Young Actress [58]
Outstanding Young Ensemble in a TV Series
(shared with Bella Thorne, Davis Cleveland, Roshon Fegan, Adam Irigoyen, Kenton Duty and Caroline Sunshine)
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special [59]
2013 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Movie, MiniSeries, Special or Pilot - Leading Young Actress Frenemies [60]
Radio Disney Music Awards Best Music Video "Fashion Is My Kryptonite" [61]
2014 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance in a Youth/ Children's Program - (Series or Special) "Shake It Up" [62]
Outstanding New Artist Herself
Radio Disney Music Awards Breakout Artist of the Year [63]
Artist With The Best Style
BET Awards YoungStar Award [64]
Teen Choice Awards Candie's Style Icon Won [65]
2015 Choice TV Actress: Comedy K.C. Undercover Nominated [66]


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  2. ^ "Zendaya - Credits". allmusic by Rovi. 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
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  4. ^ Kennedy, John R. (2014-06-09). "Aaliyah biopic to be shot in Toronto - Toronto". Retrieved 2014-08-17. 
  5. ^ "Billboard Chart History: Zendaya". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
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  8. ^ About Zendaya February 9, 2011
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  10. ^ "Kidz Bop – 'Hot n Cold' Music Video". Retrieved January 1, 2011. 
  11. ^ Name= Zendaya Shake It Up! audition December 28, 2010
  12. ^ Swag It Out May 30, 2011
  13. ^ "‘From Bad To Cursed’ Book Trailer Gives Us The Creeps — In A Good Way". Hollywood Crush. 
  14. ^ Shady, Justin (October 22, 2010). "Coleman & Thorne: Duo 'Shake Up' Disney". Variety. Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
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  17. ^ "Dorothy Hamill and Andy Dick among 'Dancing' stars". New York Post. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Zendaya's 'Crying' Fans 'So Sad' About 'Dancing With The Stars' Loss". MTV. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  19. ^ Carpenter, Cassie (May 24, 2013). "Zendaya Coleman delights in her newfound fame as she hits the talk show circuit after coming second on DWTS". London: Dailymail. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Dancing with the Stars' Season 16 finale: Kellie Pickler edges out Zendaya". New York: NY Daily. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
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  24. ^ "Zendaya Debut Album To Be Self-Titled!". Sweety High. 2013-08-13. 
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  26. ^ Ng, Philiana. ""Super Awesome Katy" reunites the actress with "Shake It Up" executive producer Rob Lotterstein.". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
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  30. ^ Ge, Linda. "Zendaya Fires Back at Critics Over Aaliyah Casting Backlash". The Wrap. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  31. ^ Raftery, Liz (June 29, 2014). "Zendaya Drops Out of Lifetime’s Aaliyah Biopic, Project Put on Hold". TVGuide. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Zendaya Coleman Explains Why She Exited Aaliyah Biopic". The Hollywood Reporter. July 20, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  33. ^ Zemler, Emily (15 November 2014). "Alexandra Shipp on Making Lifetime’s Aaliyah Biopic: The Backlash Is "Ridiculous"". Time. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  34. ^ "After Selena Gomez's exit and a Thawing 'Frozen', Is Disney Headed for a Cold Spell?". October 24, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2015. 
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  39. ^ Between U and Me: How to Rock Your Tween Years with Style and Confidence. Amazon. ISBN 1423170083. 
  40. ^ "Zendaya Coleman’s Book "Between U And Me" Arrives August 6, 2013". Disney Dreaming. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  41. ^ "CeCe And Rocky "Shake It Up" D-Signed Collection At Target". Disney Dreaming. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  42. ^ ""Shake It Up" Dance Clothing Line". Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Meet the A-List Cast Starring in Taylor Swift's New Music Video". Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  44. ^ "Barbie to Release Zendaya Doll from Mattel :". 
  45. ^ "Zendaya Is the New Face of CoverGirl: Watch Her Video". Billboard. January 21, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
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  51. ^ "Zendaya: It Was an "Honor" to Meet Rihanna!". Bop and Tiger Beat Magazine. June 20, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  52. ^ "Zendaya Coleman Congratulates Bridgit Mendler On Her Debut Album "Hello My Name Is"". Disney Dreaming. June 20, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  53. ^ "Is 'Replay' Singer Zendaya Coleman the Next Rihanna? [VIDEO] 'Shake It Up' Star is Author, Singer and Actress, Names Fans 'Zswaggers'". Fashion & Syle. June 20, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  54. ^ "Zendaya, "Replay": Disney’s Newest Pop Princess Arrives With An Amazing Debut Single". MuuMuse. June 20, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  55. ^ name Cover Girl Interview July 8, 2011
  56. ^ "Get A "Close Up" Of Zendaya In This Fashion Film". Nylon Magazine. June 20, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  57. ^ "32nd Annual Young Artist Awards". 
  58. ^ "33rd Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  59. ^ "Zendaya At The 2012 NAACP Image Awards". Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  60. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. 
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  62. ^ "NAACP Image Awards 2014: Full list of nominations". On The Red Carpet. Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  63. ^ "RDMA 2014 Nomination". Black Celeb Kids. 2014-02-28. 
  64. ^ "Awards | Shows". BET. Retrieved 2014-08-17. 
  65. ^ "2014 Teen Choice Awards Winners and Nominees - complete list". HitFix. 2014-08-10. Retrieved 2015-02-06. 
  66. ^ Coggan, Devan (June 9, 2015). "Teen Choice Award nominations pit Zayn Malik against One Direction". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved June 11, 2015. 

External links