Zendaya made a surprise appearance at Coachella to sing with Labrinth.
If you thought that Vera Farmiga performing “Toxicity” at Rock Academy was unexpected, the appearance of Spider-Man: Homecoming actress Zendaya on the stage at Coachella took people completely by surprise. The singer-turned-actress appeared onstage to sing “All for Us” and “I’m Tired” alongside Timothy Lee “Labrinth” McKenzie, much to the adoration of the crowd.
After the show, Zendaya released an Instagram story in which she thanked Labrinth for giving her a chance to perform onstage again — an opportunity that she revealed was a last-minute invite. She thanked the crowds for the love she received, saying “I have never heard screaming like that in my entire life.”
Zendaya’s music career began when she released the singles “Swag It Out” and “Watch Me” in 2011, the latter reaching number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. After releasing several more singles, she released her first (and so far, only) album, titled Zendaya, in 2013. She later released the singles “Something New” and “Rewrite the Stars,” her last two songs before collaborating with Labrinth as part of the HBO series Euphoria.
It has been years since Zendaya last appeared onstage as a singer. She hasn’t toured since 2015, and her last documented performance was at the 2018 BET Awards. The enthusiastic reaction of the audience shows that, despite her long absence from touring and releasing albums, she’s still a much-beloved figure in the music industry.
Of course, it’s not like Zendaya has been out of practice. She performed the song “All of Us” in the season 1 finale of Euphoria, and appeared alongside Labrinth to perform “I’m Tired” in episode 4 of season 2. Zendaya’s involvement in “I’m Tired” and another season 2 song, “Elliot’s Song,” gained her two nominations for Oustanding Original Music and Lyrics in the 2022 Primetime Emmy Awards.
The exact reasons that Zendaya stepped away from music have never been explicitly stated, but at least part of it probably had to do with her finding further success in her acting career. While she had been acting since appearing in the 2010 Disney sitcom Shake It Up, her career really took off after moving away from child-focused television. Her highly-praised appearances in the Tom Holland Spider-Man films and the Hugh Jackman musical The Greatest Showman cemented her as a Hollywood star, and soon afterward she was offered the leading role in Euphoria.
Zendaya also had a relatively minor role in the 2021 Dune film — a role that will undoubtedly become much larger in the 2023 sequel. Assuming that the film doesn’t completely stray from the plot of the novel, her character, Chani, will play a major role in helping Paul Atreides in his goal of uniting the Fremen and fighting against the Harkonnens for control of the planet Arrakis.
Zendaya is also set to play a major role in Challengers, a sports drama following a tennis champion who signs up for a challenge tour, which pits him against his wife’s former coach. Challengers is set to release on September 15, 2023.