By Ralphie Aversa | For Weekender

Ralphie Report: Zendaya is one of the sweetest people you’ll meet in the entertainment biz

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    I’ll never forget the second time I met Zendaya. It was in the press room after the 2013 American Music Awards. I had already chatted with Ariana Grande and was waiting for an influx of other big names: One Direction, Taylor Swift and Rihanna to name a few.

    The fellas of 1D headed straight to Jimmy Kimmel’s cameras where they taped a skit with Kimmel’s sidekick/security guard Guillermo. I talked earlier in the night with both Harry Styles and Niall Horan on the AMAs red carpet, so I wasn’t expecting them to stop by again. Rihanna, who Bill Maher presented with the first ever “Icon Award” that evening, walked in to the photo area. Swift was the show’s big winner; she made the rounds before offering me a few minutes of her time.

    Toward the end of the night, as Rihanna was heading out of the press room flanked by her entourage and security detail, a then-17 year-old Zendaya was walking in the opposite direction.

    The teenager, nee Zendaya Coleman, can recollect what happened next “vividly.”

    “(Rihanna) stopped. She gave me a hug and she was like, ‘I love you girl,” an enthusiastic Zendaya recalled when I brought this up to her recently. “She was so positive, so nice.

    “It’s so cool for people like her, who obviously are … incredibly successful, empowering women, and on top of that she just stopped to say hi to me. She didn’t have to do that!”

    The kindness and humility shown by the “Diamonds” singer certainly left an impression on Zendaya that she now strives to pay forward.

    “My thing is, no one will ever catch me not being nice to people,” Zendaya said. “I don’t ever want somebody not to have a good taste in their mouth about when they met Zendaya or how they felt when they met me. I like for people to leave me feeling positive.”

    So much has transpired for the Disney star since her run-in with pop music royalty: from “Fashion Police” controversy that she handled with the grace of someone beyond her years to a platinum selling single and debut album. Now Zendaya is prepping the follow-up to her self-titled LP; she recently released the lead single which features singer Chris Brown.

    “I went to the studio one time with my parents and I was like, ‘Hey bro, I just want you to listen to music and if you like something, I would love for you to be on it,” Zendaya said of her first meeting with Brown, which was set-up through a mutual friend. The R&B star picked “Something New,” a track that samples TLC’s “Creep” and a song that Zendaya had already chosen anyways as the single.

    “It just worked out really cool.”

    Listen to “Ralphie Tonight” weeknights from 7 p.m. to midnight on 97 BHT.

    By Ralphie Aversa | For Weekender

    Listen to “Ralphie Tonight” weeknights from 7 p.m. to midnight on 97 BHT.