The all-around performer, 52, opened up about how he and his family have been coping with the loss of Dixon, which Foxx said was “abrupt” and still very much an open wound for Foxx and his family as she was the “light” who largely kept the family close. Dixon was 36.
“You know what? We are getting along. Earlier, when it happened, it was so abrupt,” Foxx told “Extra” of the passing of Dixon, who was born with Down syndrome to parents Louise Annette Dixon and stepfather George Dixon in September 1984. “It was so much pain, man. My mother, my father, and my sister, they all live with me – it was so much pain.”
Foxx spoke with the entertainment program while discussing his latest film, “Soul,” an animated Pixar flick in which Foxx plays a music instructor who embarks on a journey for a second chance at life after his death in an accident.
Dixon provided a sense of life to Foxx and his entire family and was easily the life of the party whenever the lights shined the brightest, Foxx recalled.
“Watch the ‘Blame It on the Alcohol’ video – she was the premier dancer on that…” the singer raved. “There’s not a time she wouldn’t be at my house at my parties I would throw and go with me and light the world on fire… A few times Chris Brown would just stop by unannounced and just dance with my sister… All of those little things we will remember and will continuously remember her in a joyous way.”
Added Fox: “When I tell you that was my baby, and that was my father’s baby, my sister’s sister, who we just thought was a light.”
Dixon was an ambassador for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and began competing in the Special Olympics in the sixth grade. She would compete for nearly 10 years and moved from the family’s native Texas to California after graduating high school in 2002.
Foxx was by Dixon’s side every step of the way, even as she was presented with the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award by the organization in October 2009.
“I feel I was born to dance. I want to be a professional dancer,” Dixon’s foundation bio reads. “My brother has given me a chance to do some special things. I danced in his video ‘Blame It.’ I’ve danced on stage at some of his concerts all over the country. And guess what? I’ve danced at the Grammys!”
Dixon’s death came amid the coronavirus pandemic and on the heels of intense social and political unrest that Foxx admitted was an added stressor all the way around.
“We’ve all been affected by this pandemic, we’ve all been affected by these social injustices and things – let’s give us a moment to come together,” said the Oscar-winner, adding that in his estimation, the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for president and vice president came at the right time for the nation.
“I have known these people… It’s time for some responsible people to take over without disrespecting the other side,” said Foxx. “I think they will nudge us closer together, which is the only way America works.”
Foxx also sees hope for others in his animated picture as he continues to make history in his career as a singer, actor, comedian and TV host.
“I get a chance to be the first African American lead [in a Pixar film], and it’s about music, it’s about jazz, it’s about having people believe in a dream and believe in themselves, and who doesn’t need a movie like that right now, especially with everything that’s going on in their lives?” said Foxx.
Foxx added that he also had to step out of his comfort zone playing a voiceover role instead of physical acting.
“I had to learn, because I’m doing facial expressions and all that, and they’re like, ‘Uh, we can’t see you… we just need your throat… just your voice.’ Alright!”
Adding about what drew him to the role, Foxx said it earned him cool points with his kids.
“I was like, ‘Please let me be in it because… my youngest daughter will think I’m so cool…’” Foxx quipped to the outlet. “She said, ‘Oh, you’re doing Pixar? Oh, you’re famous…!’ Before that, it’s like, ‘I don’t know, Dad, the jury’s out.’”
“Soul” begins streaming on Disney+ this Christmas.