Zendaya may have got her start on the Disney Channel, but the actress has since become an A-list star — so much so, she only needs to go by one name.

Born Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman on September 1, 1996, the Euphoria star has mom Claire Stoermer and Kazembe Ajamu Coleman to thank for her unique moniker. “I gotta give it up to my parents,” Zendaya told Ellen DeGeneres in 2016. “I’m really lucky to have the parents that I have. They just have always instilled in me those core values that I think I have to carry with me through everything. I give it up to them, I give it up to my family.”

Read more about why Zendaya dropped her last name, plus find out its special meaning and how to pronounce it correctly.

Why Did Zendaya Choose to Be Mononymous?

Joining the likes of Adele, Madonna, Cher, Beyoncé, Eminem, Drake and many more, Zendaya only goes by one name.

When asked about her choice to drop her last name, the actress told Allure in a December 2016 profile that she liked how it sounded. “I [dropped my last name because I] just thought it was cool, like Cher or Prince,” she said.

How Is Zendaya’s Name Pronounced?

If you’ve been saying Zen-die-uh, you’re wrong! According to Teen Vogue, the actress previously broke down its pronunciation step-by-step in a video that was shared to her app in 2017. “Zen is the first syllable, then day, and then a. I think a lot of people see my name and think it’s more fancy than it is,” she explained. “They think Zendaya like papaya. It’s just day.” In 2018, she replied to a video posted to X (formerly Twitter) of someone singing her name. “Sang my name right and everything 😂😂😂,” she tweeted.

What Is the Meaning Behind Zendaya’s Name?

Zendaya and her father Kazembe Ajamu Coleman
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In 2015, Zendaya partnered with Welcome.us to film a PSA about her family history in honor of Immigrant Heritage Month. “I have my African first name, I have a middle name that is [my mom’s] middle name, which is French, but we did it African spelling, so it’s literally me in a name,” she said in the video, per Us Weekly. “And then you have Stoermer, and then you have Coleman. I literally have, like, a timeline in history in my name.” She added to Us, “I just want young people to embrace where they come from, be proud of it and share their family’s history. This country was built on beautiful stories of immigrant heritage.”