Skai Jackson

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Skai Jackson
Jackson in 2023
Born (2002-04-08) April 8, 2002 (age 21)
New York City, U.S.
  • Actress
  • author
Years active2007–present

Skai Jackson (born April 8, 2002)[1] is an American actress best known for portraying the role of Zuri Ross in the Disney Channel sitcom Jessie (2011–2015), which she subsequently reprised in its sequel Bunk'd (2015–2018).

Jackson began acting at the age of five, making her debut in the film Liberty Kid (2007). She has provided the voice of Glory Grant across the Marvel Rising series (2018–2019) and voiced Summer in the animated series DreamWorks Dragons: Rescue Riders (2019–2022). In 2019, Jackson released her debut book, Reach for the Skai: How to Inspire, Empower, and Clapback. The following year, she was a semi-finalist on the 29th season of Dancing with the Stars.

Early life

Jackson was born in the Staten Island borough of New York City.[2] She is of Afro-Honduran and African-American descent.[3][4] She began her career as a child model, appearing in numerous national commercials, including for Band-Aid, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Old Navy.[5]


Jackson in 2013

Jackson's first major acting role was in the independent film Liberty Kid (2007), which was followed by a guest appearance in an episode of Rescue Me (2008). In 2009, Jackson made a cameo in the film The Rebound, and in the same year was cast as a member of the Nickelodeon pre-school animated series Bubble Guppies, playing the role of Little Fish. She continued to make cameo and guest appearances in the television series Team Umizoomi, Royal Pains, and Boardwalk Empire, as well as the 2011 films Arthur and The Smurfs.

In 2011, she was cast as Zuri Ross in the Disney Channel sitcom Jessie, which aired from September 30, 2011, to October 16, 2015.[6][7] For the role, Jackson received an Image Award nomination.[8] In 2013, she appeared as Joetta Watson in the Hallmark Channel television film The Watsons Go To Birmingham[9] and in the year following guest-starred in an episode of Disney XD's animated series Ultimate Spider-Man.[10] In 2015, after Jessie ended, it was announced that Jackson would reprise her role as Zuri Ross in the Disney Channel series Bunk'd, a spin-off series.[11] Bunk'd premiered on July 31, 2015, and she departed from the series after its third season in 2018.

In 2016, Jackson was included on Time's list of Most Influential Teens,[12] and in 2017, she received a nomination from the Shorty Awards for Best Influencer.[13] Following her success with Disney, Jackson promptly made a guest appearance in K.C. Undercover.[14] In 2018, Jackson made a guest appearance in Marvel Rising: Initiation as Glory Grant, a role she reprised in Marvel Rising: Chasing Ghosts, and Marvel Rising: Battle of the Bands.

In 2019, Jackson was cast in the music video for Lil Nas X's "Panini".[15] The video gained worldwide popularity, and spawned a variety of memes due to her character being unable to escape the rapper.[16] Also in 2019, Jackson made her writing debut with the book Reach for the Skai: How to Inspire, Empower, and Clapback,[17][18] and began voicing Summer on the Netflix animated series DreamWorks Dragons: Rescue Riders, which ended in 2020. On September 2, 2020, Jackson was announced as one of the celebrities competing on the 29th season of Dancing with the Stars, which premiered on September 14, 2020. Her partner was Alan Bersten. The pair made it the semi-finals but was eliminated 10th on November 16, 2020.[19]

Personal life

In March 2020, Jackson filed court papers for a restraining order against rapper Bhad Bhabie claiming that she had harassed her. The petition was temporarily granted, and later dropped by Jackson.[20]

During June 2023, Jackson received scrutiny for hosting a $5 raffle with a MacBook as a prize through CashApp; with some accusing her of scamming her followers in order to gain money. Jackson said in response, "It is not that serious, for a damn $5. It is called a raffle."[21]


The cast of Jessie in 2011


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Liberty Kid Destiny – age 3 Independent film
2008 Rescue Me Little Girl Short film
2009 The Rebound Museum Little Girl #1
2011 Arthur Little Girl
2011 The Smurfs Kicking Girl
2013 G.I. Joe: Retaliation Roadblock's daughter
2014 My Dad's a Soccer Mom Lacy Casey
2023 Sheroes Daisy


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Sesame Street Herself
2010 Team Umizoomi Kayla Voice role; episode: "The Rolling Toy Parade"
2010 Royal Pains Maddie Phillips Episode: "Big Whoop"
2010–2012 Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil Madison Recurring voice role
2011 Boardwalk Empire Aneisha Episode: "What Does the Bee Do?"
2011–2013 Bubble Guppies Little Fish Main voice role (seasons 1–2)
2011–2015 Jessie Zuri Ross Main role
2012 Austin & Ally Zuri Ross Episode: "Austin & Jessie & Ally All Star New Year"
2012–2014 Dora the Explorer Isa the Iguana Recurring voice role
2013 Good Luck Charlie Zuri Ross Episode: "Good Luck Jessie: NYC Christmas"
2013 The Watsons Go to Birmingham Joetta Watson Television film (Hallmark)
2014 Ultimate Spider-Man Zuri Ross Voice role; episode: "Halloween Night at the Museum"
2015–2018 Bunk'd Zuri Ross Main role (season 1-3)
2015 K.C. Undercover Zuri Ross Episode: "All Howl's Eve"[14]
2018 Marvel Rising: Initiation Glory Grant Voice role; Episodes: "Floor Toms and Spider Webs", "Ghost Hunter"
2019 Marvel Rising: Chasing Ghosts Glory Grant Voice role
2019 Marvel Rising: Battle of the Bands Glory Grant Voice role
2019–2022 DreamWorks Dragons: Rescue Riders Summer Voice role
2019 Marvel Rising: Operation Shuri Glory Grant Voice role
2020 Dancing with the Stars Herself Contestant with Alan Bersten; eliminated 10th
2021 Muppets Haunted Mansion Singing Bust TV special

Music videos

Year Title Artist
2019 "Panini"[22] Lil Nas X


  • Reach for the Skai: How to Inspire, Empower, and Clapback (2019)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2016 Image Awards Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Mini-series) Jessie Nominated [8]
2017 Shorty Awards Best Influencer and Celebrity Herself Nominated [13]
2018 Young Entertainer Awards Best Young Ensemble in a Television Series Bunk'd Won [23]


  1. ^ "UPI Almanac for Wednesday, April 8, 2020". United Press International. April 8, 2020. Archived from the original on August 29, 2020. Retrieved September 2, 2020. …actor Skai Jackson in 2002 (age 18)
  2. ^ Houlis, AnnaMarie (June 30, 2020). "The stunning transformation of Skai Jackson". The List. Archived from the original on September 2, 2020. Retrieved September 2, 2020.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ @skaijackson (February 4, 2021). "No, I'm Honduran" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ "Skai Jackson on Facebook". Facebook. Archived from the original on April 30, 2022.[user-generated source]
  5. ^ "Skai Jackson TV Commercials". Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  6. ^ "Show bios - Skai Jackson" (Press release). Disney Channel. Archived from the original on July 2, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  7. ^ "Skai Jackson, from Disney's "Jessie", crowned Queen of Lip Sync at Premiere Event". Premiere Event. Archived from the original on February 18, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Skai Jackson". IMDb. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  9. ^ The Watsons Go to Birmingham (TV Movie 2013) - IMDb, retrieved August 7, 2019
  10. ^ Ge, Linda (October 9, 2014). "'Jessie' Stars Get Animated for 'Ultimate Spider-Man' Crossover (Exclusive Photos)". The Wrap. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 25, 2015). "Disney Channel's 'Jessie' Ending Run, But Spinoff Series Set With Stars Peyton List, Karan Brar & Skai Jackson". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  12. ^ Staff (October 19, 2016). "The 30 Most Influential Teens of 2016". Time. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  13. ^ a b "The Shorty Awards - Honoring the best of social media". Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  14. ^ a b "All Howl's Eve". Disney Channel Press. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  15. ^ "Skai Jackson Can't Escape From Lil Nas X in New Panini Music Video". E! Online. September 5, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  16. ^ "Complex". Complex Networks.
  17. ^ "SKAI JACKSON 'REACHES FOR THE SKAI' WITH NEW BOOK". BCK Online. November 19, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  18. ^ "Skai Jackson Writing Book About Life Lessons & Clapping Back". theJasmineBRAND. November 21, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  19. ^ ""Dancing with the Stars" 2020 Celebrity Cast Announced!". September 2, 2020.
  20. ^ Bonner, Mehera (June 16, 2020). "Skai Jackson Just Dropped Her Restraining Order Against Bhad Bhabie". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  21. ^ "Disney star Skai Jackson slammed for "scamming" fans with giveaway". Dexerto. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  22. ^ Lil Nas X - Panini (Official Video), retrieved September 7, 2019
  23. ^ Hartshorn, Tori. "Third Annual Young Entertainer Awards Spectacular at Universal Studios Hollywood Set for 4/14". Retrieved June 12, 2021.

External links