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Female Firsts: Zendaya

Zendaya on the red carpet for Spiderman Far From Home

After making history in 2020 by becoming the youngest woman, and only the second Black woman, in Emmy’s history to win the lead actress in a drama category at the age of 24, Zendaya once again smashed Emmy records in 2022.

At the age of 25, she is the youngest woman ever to be nominated for producing the hit HBO drama series Euphoria. Zendaya was also nominated and won Lead Actress in a Drama Series and has received two nods for Outstanding Original Music for both “Elliot’s Song” with Dominic Fike, and ”I’m Tired” with Labrinth. Thus, making her the first Black woman, and only the second black person, to receive both songwriting and acting nods in the same year. For the Lead Actress category she was up against other heavy hitters such as Killing Eve‘s Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh, Ozark‘s Laura Linney, Yellowjackets’ Melanie Lynskey, and The Morning Show‘s Reese Witherspoon.

Euphoria, inspired by an Israeli mini series of the same name, follows the life of 17-year-old drug addict Rue Bennett, played by Zendaya, and the chaotic and tumultuous lives of her and her classmates as they struggle with figuring themselves out, their relationships and their futures. The show has numerous executive producers but is created, directed and written by Sam Levinson, who draws from a lot of his own personal experience as a drug addict when he was a teen. Euphoria was also nominated for Outstanding Drama Series against Better Call Saul, Ozark, Severance, Squid Game, Stranger Things, Succession, and Yellowjackets.

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