The 26-year-old fashion icon and ‘Euphoria’ star and EP hit the stage for the first time in seven years at Coachella.
As a loyal Disney kid, I always stayed on top of who the next It girls would be – watching stars like Raven-Symoné, who became my fashion mood board from her iconic looks on That’s So Raven, Bel-Air star Coco Jones being the dark skin representation for young Black girls while debuting in Let It Shine, and seeing Zendaya maintain longevity throughout her career since her days on Shake It Up! as young Rocky Blue.
My favorite niche in Disney was seeing my favorite stars dive into music and premiere their new songs in between Disney Channel Original Movie premieres and on special holidays. I’ll never forget hearing Zendaya’s debut single, “Replay,” and watching the music video, thinking she has a bright future ahead of her in the industry. She could sing and dance with excellent stage presence, giving fans a sneak peek into what her music career would transform into over the years.
So obviously, it was no surprise when the Golden Globe-winning actress made her first stage appearance in seven years at Coachella with Labrinth that it lit up my younger self. “This was a moment! I’m so glad I got to share it with you Zendaya. thank you for being so vulnerable and putting yourself and your heart out there,” Z’s collaborator posted on Instagram.
The duo performed their song “I’m Tired” and “All of Us” from Euphoria igniting all of our inner stans with so much joy to see Zendaya perform again.
“I cannot express my gratitude enough for this magical night,” Zendaya shared on her Instagram story. “Thank you to my brother Labrinth for inviting me and giving me the most beautiful safe space to be on stage again. And to the crowd tonight… wow. My heart is so full. I can’t thank you enough for the love I received tonight, it made all my nerves melt away. I’m so grateful.”
Though Zendaya is a jack of all trades alluding to her acting, haute couture modeling moments in collaboration with Law Roach, and fashion including her debut as Louis Vuitton’s newest House Ambassador and face of the iconic Capucines bag , she doesn’t get the recognition for her artistry. The 26-year-old Malcolm & Marie starlet signed to Hollywood Records in 2012 and soon released her debut single and self-titled album featuring other singles such as “My Baby” and “Bottle Me Up.”
“Replay” became a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and the album reached no. 51 on the Billboard 200 chart. With the success she received on her debut music, she was able to go on a three-legged tour and meet fans worldwide. Oftentimes when people think of Zendaya, they automatically refer to her blockbuster movies such as Dune and Spider-Man: No Way Home or show-stopping red carpet moments but people forget she was an artist.
After the release of her debut album, fans were excited for Zendaya to step into her artistry but we haven’t had a full body of work from her since her debut project. She’s dabbled into a few musical endeavors like being a part of The Greatest Showman soundtrack with fellow Disney alum Zac Efron and even another original song “Something New” featuring Chris Brown, which sampled TLC’s hit single, “Creep.”
Unfortunately, Zendaya has no interest in stepping back into the music scene due to the mistreatment Black women often face behind the scenes. “I think the [music] industry takes a little bit of passion away from you,” she previously told Paper Magazine. “It sucks you dry a little bit. What I thought I wanted, it’s not what I want anymore, [especially] when I think about what I had to deal with in the music industry.”
Although Zendaya is not a full-time performer anymore, her voice and impact in music continue to shine in her other creative endeavors. Through Euphoria, she’s able to tap into the aspect of being an artist and sharing vulnerable moments through music, but without the extra baggage that comes with the music business. In an interview she did with Andrew Garfield for Variety magazine, Zendaya expressed her anonymity that tours and music didn’t allow her.
“I was talking to Sam [Levinson, Euphoria director] about it earlier. I was like, I don’t know if I could be a pop star. It’s because as an actress, there’s a level of anonymity that I get to have, which I really enjoy,” she added. “And I can sort my stuff, whatever it is, through a character, and nobody needs to know about it. Whereas in other ways and other means, it’s all you all the time. I like the idea that someone else, namely Rue, can take on these things. I walked away from music a long time ago for various reasons.”
For many longtime fans, our hope is that we can see Zendaya step back into the music scene after the success of “I’m Tired” with over 112 million streams and “All of Us” with over 380 million streams.
“I stepped away from music quite a while ago for a number of reasons, but I still really love it, so the kindness and support I’ve received the past few days just for a little tiny toe-dip back into some music mean the absolute world to me,” she tweeted.
Even though Zendaya doesn’t have any plans to fully enter the music realm again, her Coachella performance sparked excitement in her fans and showed that she could conquer the music scene if she really wanted to and continue to add to the long list of achievements she’s already made.
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