Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman (//; born September 1, 1996) is an American actress and singer. She began her career as a child model and backup dancer, before gaining prominence for her role as Rocky Blue on the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up (2010–2013). In 2013, Zendaya was a contestant on the sixteenth season of the competition series Dancing with the Stars. From 2015 to 2018, she produced and starred as K.C. Cooper in the sitcom K.C. Undercover, and in 2019, she began playing the lead role in the HBO drama series Euphoria. Her film roles include supporting parts in the musical drama The Greatest Showman (2017) and the superhero films Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019).
Zendaya at the premiere of Spider-Man: Far From Home in 2019
Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman
September 1, 1996
Oakland, California, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
Zendaya began her career in music by recording songs independently and releasing the singles "Swag It Out" and "Watch Me" in 2011, the latter a collaboration with Bella Thorne. She signed with Hollywood Records in 2012 and later released her debut single, "Replay", which reached number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. In 2013, her self-titled debut studio album debuted at number 51 on the Billboard 200 chart. "Rewrite the Stars", taken from the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman, was released as a single in 2018. It reached the top twenty of the UK and Australian national charts and was certified platinum in the UK and US and double platinum in Australia.
Coleman was born on September 1, 1996, in Oakland, California, the only child of Claire Marie (Stoermer) and Kazembe Ajamu (born Samuel David Coleman). She has five older half-siblings on her father's side. Her father is African-American, with roots in Arkansas, while her mother has German and Scottish ancestry. Zendaya, whose name derives from the Shona name Tendai, meaning "to give thanks", grew as a performer in part at the nearby California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, California, where her mother works as the house manager. She also trained at the theater's student conservatory program. She appeared in numerous stage productions while she was attending Oakland School for the Arts, starring 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 TheaterWorks.
2009–2015: Shake It Up and Dancing with the Stars
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. She also appeared as a back-up dancer in a Sears commercial, featuring Disney actress Selena Gomez. In 2009, she was a featured performer in the Kidz Bop music video for its cover of the song "Hot n Cold", which was released on Kidz Bop 15. She auditioned in November 2009 for the role of CeCe Jones to join the cast of Dance Dance Chicago, later changed to Shake It Up!, but was selected as Rocky Blue instead. For her audition, she performed Michael Jackson's "Leave Me Alone". Shake It Up premiered on November 7, 2010, and it was watched by 6.2 million viewers, becoming Disney Channel's second highest-rated premiere in Disney Channel's 27-year history. In 2011 Zendaya released "Swag It Out", a promotional independent single. The song was composed by Bobby Brackins and produced by Glenn A. Foster. She also starred in the book trailer for "From Bad To Cursed" by Katie Alender. In the same year, she released "Watch Me," featuring Bella Thorne, on June 21. The song peaked at 86 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second season of Shake It Up was announced on March 16, 2011, and premiered on September 18, 2011. On June 5, 2011, Shake It Up had a crossover episode with Good Luck Charlie. Zendaya hosted Make Your Mark: Ultimate Dance Off 2011.
Her first movie role was in the 2012 film Frenemies, a Disney Channel Original Movie. On February 29, 2012, "Something to Dance For" was released as promotional single for Live 2 Dance. For the soundtrack, Zendaya also recorded three other songs: "Made In Japan," "Same Heart", and "Fashion In Krytonite", released as promotional single. On September 2, 2012, she signed to Hollywood Records. In October, Zendaya performed at the Teen Music Festival and at the Operation Smile benefit.
In February 2013, Zendaya was announced as one of the celebrities who would compete on season 16 of Dancing with the Stars. At age 16, she was the youngest contestant ever to participate on the show, before Willow Shields succeeded her at age 14 on season 20. She was partnered up with professional dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy. In May, the couple finished as runners-up behind Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough. Her self-titled debut album was released on September 17, 2013. It was preceded by the hit single "Replay", released on July 16, 2013. The song was written by Tiffany Fred and Paul "Phamous" Shelton. In June 2013, Coleman completed filming for the music video. On July 25, the Disney Channel confirmed that Shake It Up will be canceled after the end of the third season.
In August 6, 2013, Zendaya released her debut book, Between U and Me: How to Rock Your Tween Years with Style and Confidence. That same month, she was cast as 16-year-old Zoey Stevens, the lead character in the Disney Channel Original Movie Zapped, whose "smart phone begins to somehow control all the boys around her". In November 2013, Zendaya was selected as Elvis Duran's Artist of the Month and was featured on NBC's Today, where she performed live her single "Replay". That same month, she was cast as the lead in a Disney Channel pilot called Super Awesome Katy. It was ordered to series by Disney Channel in May 2014, with the series now under the title K.C. Undercover, and with Zendaya's character now named K.C. Cooper rather than Katy Cooper. In 2017, Zendaya stated that she had a large influence over the renaming of her character and the retitling of the series, also deciding several key elements of the character's personality. K.C. Undercover premiered on Disney Channel on January 18, 2015, and was renewed for a second season in May 2015.
In 2014, Zendaya was a guest judge on an episode of Project Runway: Under the Gunn. In the episode, the contestant designers were given the challenge of creating an outfit for Zendaya to wear in an upcoming concert performance.
In February 2015, after a joke made by Giuliana Rancic concerning Zendaya, in reference to her hair smelling of "patchouli oil" and "weed" at the 87th Academy Awards, Zendaya promptly took to Instagram to address the remark and point out that many successful people have "locs," a hairstyle that has nothing to do with drugs. Mattel honored Zendaya with her own Barbie, replicating her Oscars look.
The following month, musician Timbaland confirmed that he was working with Zendaya on her second album, following her switching record labels from Disney to Republic. "Something New", featuring Chris Brown was released on February 5 via Hollywood Records and Republic Records. The song also marks it as her first official release since signing to Republic Records. In August 2015, Zendaya debuted her shoe collection, Daya, which was her childhood nickname.
2016–present: Film breakthrough
In 2016, Zendaya made her feature film debut as Michelle in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which was released in July 2017. The film grossed $117 million in its first weekend, ranking number one at the box office. John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter praised her as a "scene stealer," while David Ehrlich of IndieWire called her the film's "MVP," despite her brief on-screen time.
On November 4, 2016, Zendaya's own clothing line, Daya by Zendaya, went on sale.
In December 2017, Zendaya co-starred in the musical film The Greatest Showman, alongside Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, and Rebecca Ferguson. She portrayed a trapeze artist named Anne Wheeler who falls in love with Efron's character, Phillip Carlyle, during a time when interracial romance was taboo. Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, it was a commercial success and Zendaya's performance, as well as chemistry with Efron, was particularly praised. Critic Owen Gleiberman wrote in Variety that, "Efron and Zendaya have a terrific chemistry—they never stop seeking each other out."
Zendaya was ranked one of the best dressed women in 2018 by fashion website Net-a-Porter. That September Warner Bros. released the animated film Smallfoot, in which Zendaya voiced the yeti Meechee. The following month, Tommy Hilfiger signed Zendaya to be the brand's new global women's ambassador, which would have her appearing in the mainline campaigns, and designing Tommy x Zendaya capsule collections.
In June 2019, Zendaya began starring in the HBO drama series Euphoria, an adaptation of the Israeli series of the same name. She plays Rue, a lying, drug-addicted 17-year-old girl and the narrator of the series. She reprised her role of MJ in Spider-Man: Far from Home, released on July 2, 2019.
In January 2019, Zendaya was cast as Chani in the upcoming Denis Villeneuve adaptation of Dune alongside Timothée Chalamet in the leading role. The following month, she became a Lancôme spokesmodel. In November 2017, Zendaya signed on to star in and produce A White Lie, as Anita Hemmings, a light-skinned, African-American woman who was the descendant of slaves and passed as white so she could attend Vassar College during the 1890s. She will also appear alongside Ansel Elgort and Jake Gyllenhaal in the crime thriller Finest Kind.
In 2012, Zendaya became an ambassador for Convoy of Hope. She recorded John Legend's 2013 song "All of Me" with a portion of the proceeds going to the organization. She celebrated her 18th birthday with a campaign to help feed at least 150 hungry children in Haiti, Tanzania and the Philippines through feedONE, and in 2016 she celebrated her 20th birthday with a campaign to raise $50,000 to support Convoy's Women's Empowerment Initiative.
In September 2012, Zendaya was featured along with rapper Lil Wayne and NBA player LeBron James in a television commercial for Beats by Dr. Dre Color in which they performed the song "Scream and Shout" by Will.I.Am and Britney Spears. Zendaya is the face of "X-Out", Madonna's clothing line "Material Girl", CoverGirl, and Chi Hair Care.
|2013||Super Buddies||Lollipop (voice)||Direct-to-DVD film|
|The Greatest Showman||Anne Wheeler|
|2018||Duck Duck Goose||Chi (voice)|
|2019||Spider-Man: Far from Home||MJ|
|2010–2013||Shake It Up||Rocky Blue||Main role|
|2011||Good Luck Charlie||Rocky Blue||Episode: "Charlie Shakes It Up"|
|PrankStars||Herself||Episode: "Walk the Prank"|
|Pixie Hollow Games||Fern||Television special; voice role|
|2012||A.N.T. Farm||Sequoia Jones||Episode: "Creative consultANT"|
|Frenemies||Halley Brandon||Television film|
|2013||Dancing with the Stars||Herself||Season 16 contestant and runner-up|
|The Story of Zendaya||Herself||Television series|
|2014||Zapped||Zoey Stevens||Television film|
|The Making of SWAY||Herself||Television dancing-preparation show; 8 episodes|
|SWAY: A Dance Trilogy||Herself||Television dance show|
|2015||Black-ish||Rasheida||Episode: "Daddy's Day"|
|2015–2018||K.C. Undercover||K.C. Cooper||Lead role; also co-producer|
|2017||Walk the Prank||Herself||Episode: "K.C. Undercover Edition"|
|Lip Sync Battle||Herself||Episode: "Tom Holland vs. Zendaya"|
|2019||The OA||Fola||3 episodes|
|Euphoria||Rue Bennett||Main role|
|2019||Spider-Man: Far from Home App||Michelle / MJ||App|
- Zendaya (2013)
- Swag It Out Tour (2012–2014)
Awards and nominations
|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|||
|2012||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a TV Series – Leading Young Actress||Nominated|||
|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)
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special||Nominated|||
|2013||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a TV Movie, MiniSeries, Special or Pilot – Leading Young Actress||Frenemies||Nominated|||
|Radio Disney Music Awards||Best Music Video||"Fashion Is My Kryptonite"||Nominated|
|2014||Radio Disney Music Awards||Breakout Artist||Herself||Nominated|||
|BET Awards||YoungStars Award||Nominated|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Music: Breakout Artist||Nominated|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Candie's Style Icon||Won|||
|2015||Radio Disney Music Awards||Best Style||Nominated|||
|BET Awards||YoungStars Award||Nominated|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Actress: Comedy||K.C. Undercover||Nominated|
|2016||Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Female TV Star – Kids' Show||Won|||
|Radio Disney Music Awards||Best Style||Herself||Nominated|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Music: R&B/Hip-Hop Song||Something New||Nominated|||
|Choice Style: Female||Herself||Won|||
|2017||Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Female TV Star||K.C. Undercover||Won|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Actress: Comedy||Nominated|||
|Choice Summer Movie Actress||Spider-Man: Homecoming||Won|||
|Choice Breakout Movie Star||Nominated|||
|Choice Style Icon||Nominated|||
|Choice Female Hottie||Nominated|||
|2018||Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Female TV Star||K.C. Undercover||Nominated|||
|Favorite Movie Actress||Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Greatest Showman||Won|||
|Saturn Awards||Best Performance by a Younger Actor||Spider-Man: Homecoming||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actress: Drama||The Greatest Showman||Won|||
|Choice Movie Ship
(shared with Zac Efron)
(shared with Zac Efron)
(shared with Zac Efron)
|"Rewrite the Stars"||Won|||
|Choice Style Icon||Herself||Nominated|||
|2019||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Summer Movie Actress||Spider-Man: Far From Home||Won|||
|People Choice Awards||The Female Movie Star of 2019||Spider-Man: Far From Home||Won|||
|The Drama TV Star of 2019||Euphoria||Won|||
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...She objected to the show's title, which at the time was Super Awesome Katy... She then rejected her character's name... and insisted that the show feature a family of color.
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