Biography of American teenage superstar Skai Jackson

Born Skai Syed Jackson (19) in New York City on 8 April 2002, American actress Skai Jackson is a YouTuber and author who was included in Time‘s list of Most Influential Teens in 2016. She is well known for her portrayal of Zuri Rose in the Disney Channel sitcom Jessie (2011–2015), a role she subsequently reprised in its sequel, Bunk’d (2015–2018).

Starting out as a baby model, Skai has been in the entertainment industry for her entire life. She began acting at the age of 5, making her debut in the 2007 film Liberty Kid. Skai’s influence in the industry was further demonstrated by her inspiring a Marvel character named Riri Williams. 

Skai has provided the voice of Glory Grant across the Marvel Rising series and voiced Summer in DreamWorks animated series Dragons: Rescue Riders. In 2019, she released her debut novel, 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.

There are not many faces in pop culture as popular as that of Skai Jackson. Her appearance in several memes may well be how most people got to know her, but there is so much more to the person behind the face. At just 19, Skai has featured in almost 30 projects across film and TV, bagging several award nominations along the way.

In hopes that an article can do justice to the teenage superstar, let’s dive right in and learn more about Skai Jackson. For starters, enjoy the following ten facts about her.

10 interesting Skai Jackson facts

  1. This may be a little surprising, but Skai knew what path she wanted to tow as early as age four; she was a child model at the time but knew that acting was her dream profession.
  2. In 2016, at just 14, she was named in Time Magazine’s annual 30 Most Influential Teens of the year list, alongside others like Maddie Ziegler, Sasha Obama, and Gaten Matarazzo.
  3. Skai Jackson now has over 8 million followers across Instagram and Twitter; she has 7.6 million on Instagram and almost 800K on Twitter.
  4. As earlier mentioned, she started her showbiz journey as a baby in Band-Aid commercials.
  5. Skai has had her fair share of cyber-bullying from trolls on social media mocking her complexion, hair, and more.
  6. Skai Jackson once had an altercation with Azealia Banks. It happened after she came to the defense of a One Direction member who was under fire from Azealia, and it quickly turned to a war of words between her and the rapper.
  7. The comic book character, Riri Williams, the next person to take on the mantle of Iron Man, was based on Skai and reflected her hairstyle and stature.
  8. In 2019, Skai was featured in the music video of Lil Nas X’s hit song “Panini”, and her presence further boosted the popularity of the already dope video.
  9. Back in February 2020, Jackson filed a restraining order against rapper Bhad Bhabie; this came on the back of a series of harassments which, according to Skai, had got her scared to leave her house.
  10. According to celebrity net worth, Skai Jackson currently has a net worth of $500,000.

Read more: You series actor and others who hated their characters.

Skai Jackson as a baby
Skai Jackson as a baby

How old is Skai Jackson?

Skai Jackson turned 19 on her birthday in April 2021.

How tall is Skai Jackson?

Skai Jackson is 4 feet 11 inches while she weighs approximately 34 Kgs. Her body measures 28B-23-30 inches, according to

Early life and education

Skai was born to Jacob Jackson and Kiya Cole in the Staten Island borough of New York City, New York. She is of Afro-Honduran and African-American descent and has two siblings whose names are unknown. Skai remained in her mom’s custody after her parents divorced. There isn’t much information available about her education, but if some of her updates are anything to go by, she is done with high school. 

Her childhood was quite busy as she made her showbiz debut since she was a baby. At just nine months old, Skai was enrolled at a model agency, and she grew up preparing to be a supermodel and actor.


Skai began her career as a child model, appearing in numerous national commercials, including for Band-Aid, Coca-ColaPepsi, and Old Navy. She was just nine months old when she first appeared on the small screen. Skai developed a keen interest in acting at age four and knew from then that it was what she wanted to do in life. This she expressed in an interview with The Project For Women. “I always had a passion for acting since I was four years old,” she said.

At the age of three, she made her debut on the big screen with the 2007 film Liberty Kid, where she played Destiny. Following that, she was seen in many other movies, which include Rescue MeThe ReboundArthur, and The Smurfs. Skai has also appeared in different television series such as Royal PainsSesame Street, and Boardwalk Empire.

Zuri from Jessie

Jessie is an American comedy television series created by Pamela Eells O’Connell. The show aired on Disney Channel from September 2011 to October 2015, and it follows Jessie Prescott, a young woman from a small town with big dreams who, rebelling against her strict father, decides to leave the military base in Texas where she grew up and moves to New York City. She accepts a job as a nanny and moves into a multimillion-dollar penthouse on the Upper West Side with the wealthy Ross family and their four children: Emma, Luke, Ravi, and Zuri, along with the family pet, Mr. Kipling, a seven-foot Asian water monitor lizard. Jessie embarks on new adventures in the big city as she grows to rely on the love and support of the children in her care.

Skai Jackson featured as a main character, Zuri Ross. Zuri is a sassy, strong-willed, quick-witted, and talkative girl who was brought to NYC from her birth country of Uganda. She is the youngest of the Ross children and has close bonds with Jessie, Emma, and her imaginary friends. Zuri is highly creative with a penchant for rainbows, unicorns, mermaids, and country music and has many stuffed animals. As she grows into adolescence, Zuri lets go of her imaginary friends.

Zuri from Jessie
As Zuri in the Disney series, Jessie

Skai Jackson Dancing With The Stars

Dancing with the Stars is an American dance competition television series that premiered on 1 June 2005 on ABC. It is the US version of the UK series Strictly Come Dancing, and one of several iterations of the Dancing with the Stars franchise. The show was renewed for its twenty-ninth season, which premiered on 14 September 2020 with the addition of new host Tyra Banks, replacing former host Tom Bergeron. The format of the show consists of a celebrity paired with a professional dancer. Each couple performs predetermined dances and competes against the others for judges’ points and audience votes. The couple receiving the lowest combined total of judges’ points and audience votes is eliminated each week until only the champion dance pair remains.

Skai was featured in the show’s 29th season alongside professional dancer Alan Bersten. After 10 weeks in the competition, Skai Jackson was eliminated on Monday, 16 November 2020, much to the dismay of fans. Jackson and partner Alan Bersten opened the evening with nines from all the judges for her cha-cha. She followed it up with a perfect score on her Viennese waltz, but it wasn’t enough to see her through to the finals.

Skai and dance partner, Alan Bersten on Dancing With The Stars (2020)
Skai and dance partner, Alan Bersten on Dancing With The Stars

Reacting to her elimination, Skai had this to say: “We literally did the best we could. Obviously, it’s a really sad thing, but I’m not really sad sad about it. I’m just happy that I was able to be on this journey with such an amazing person. I feel like we made it so far, we made it to week 10, we got through all the dances except for the finale and it’s just been really awesome. It’s sad, of course, but I’m actually happy at the same time.” 

Personal life

Understandably, Skai Jackson’s life has not been without drama and sensation. Starting a showbiz career that early opens you up to a lot of things, both good and otherwise. First, there are the nonstop relationship rumors.

There were claims that Skai Jackson dated Juelz Smith – Beyoncé’s nephew – after a photo of them together started circulating social media in 2020. In the image, Skai can be seen sitting on Julez’s shoulders. It didn’t help their case that a conversation between Juelz and his friends got leaked, where he told them that he had been intimate with her. 

There were also rumors that Skai Jackson dated rapper NLE Choppa. The rumors started in January 2021, after a fan asked Skai on Twitter: “@skaijackson if you ever see this, I wanted to ask if you single because I fell in love with you this was hard to say.” She replied: “LMAOO, Yes I’m single for rn.” NLE, in turn, commented “hmm” under Skai’s response.

Despite these, we don’t know who Skai Jackson is dating currently.

Also read: Heidi O’Ferrall Biography: ProJared’s wife, divorce, net worth, and controversy.

Bhad Bhabie drama

Other than relationships, a controversy that surrounded Skai was her feud with Danielle Bregoli, aka Bhad Bhabie. A war of words ensued between Skai and Bhabie in February 2020 after the former allegedly used a pseudo-Instagram account to ask someone to hook her up with rapper NBA YoungBoy, who had once dated Bhad Bhabie. This enraged Bhad Bhabie, who in turn accused Skai of always following up on any guy she was involved with.

Things got so heated that Bhabie shared an Instagram video where she threatened Jackson’s life. Danielle also told her never to set foot in the beauty parlor where she goes for her makeup again. The mothers of both ladies got also got involved and had a few exchanges of their own. Eventually, Skai got a restraining order against Bhad Bhabie, and all seems to be well ever since.

Skai Jackson mom

Born 10 March 1975, Kiya Cole is an American social media star and TV personality known as the mother of Skai Jackson. Kiya and her ex-husband Jacob Jackson welcomed their firstborn Skai on 8 April 2002. After their divorce was finalized, Kiya got custody of her daughter and raised her as a single parent.

It would appear that Kiya is to thank for her daughter’s career. She sent Skai’s pictures to two modeling agencies that represented babies after several people had told her that Skai was a cute baby. Both agencies called back, and Kiya was faced with her first task as her daughter’s momager. Thus began Skai’s journey into stardom.

Skai Jackson mom, Kiya Cole
Skai Jackson and her mom, Kiya Cole

Kiya, in fact, quit her job to focus on serving as Skai’s manager when her career took flight. She has also remained her best adviser and guardian through her growth in the industry. As seen earlier in the case of Skai’s feud with Bhad Bhabie, Kiya still protects her daughter whenever the need arises.

Kiya is currently engaged to her fiance Gene Salas; they have been together since 2016.

Skai Jackson net worth

As earlier mentioned, Skai currently has a net worth of $500,000. Not bad for a teenager with so much potential and a world of opportunities to explore.


While many struggle with figuring out what they want to do with their lives, young Skai knew what she wanted since age 4. Her success should, therefore, not be so much of a surprise. With several accolades and recognitions already as feathers to her cap, the coming years hold enormous promises for Skai. The hope is that she goes for everything that is hers and gets them all.

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