Skai Jackson's Dancing With the Stars tribute to late co-star Cameron Boyce was "really special and touching" for the late actor's parents, they said during a new episode of People (the TV Show!). Jackson, 18, dedicated Monday's dance to John Legend's "Ordinary People" to her former Jessie co-star, who tragically died at just 20 in July 2019 after suffering an epileptic seizure in his sleep. Jackson's emotional performance wowed the judges, earning her the first 10 of the season and a total score of 28/30.
"For Skai to have the opportunity to share her love of Cameron in that way was just really special and touching," Cameron's mother, Libby Boyce said of the dance. "She looked beautiful," Cameron's father, Victor Boyce, chimed in. "I've known her since she was 7 and she's always been talented. And now, as a young woman, she really projected grace, and it was just heartfelt."
Jackson said during Monday's episode that Cameron had "taught me so much, even little things like being a kind person, being motivated [and] wanting to try harder," telling host Tyra Banks that she hoped the dance would make him proud. "He was someone that was really important to me and he's part of why I did the show," she said tearfully.
Victor and Libby said that it was good to hear about their son's positive impact as they continue to grieve to loss of their son. "We can have a few days go by that we're holding up, and the next day, we fall into each other and remember the reality, which is extremely raw and painful and will be forever," Libby said. "It's nothing you get better from. It's an everlasting pain, and it's part of our life and the cards we were dealt."
Jackson also drew attention to the Cameron Boyce Foundation, launched by Victor and Libby after his death to provide "young people artistic and creative outlets as alternatives to violence and negativity and uses resources and philanthropy for positive change in the world" as well as raise awareness about epilepsy. "Epilepsy is what killed our son, and we pretty quickly realized that that had to be at the core of what we are doing," said Libby.
"Everyday is unreal and surreal," Victor continued. "I just can't describe it to you. Immediately when our son passed, my wife's first thing was his death cannot be in vain. Our goal is to keep his legacy alive and help as many people as we can."