Jackson Odell‘s dear friend and co-writer is sharing some of his fondest memories from his time spent with the late Goldbergs actor.
Last Friday, the musician and actor, best known for his role as Ari Caldwell on ABC’s The Goldbergs from 2013 to 2015, was found unresponsive in a Los Angeles sober living home. He was 20.
“There was no paraphernalia or legal drugs found on the scene,”s Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told PEOPLE. “He was found unresponsive.”
Odell’s cause of death is pending an autopsy.
Brett Boyett, a music producer who met Odell when he was 17 and worked extensively worked with the actor and musician for the past three years, posted a heartfelt tribute to the late star on Facebook following his death.
As a producer and songwriter your goal is always to align yourself with the most talented artist that you can find, that person whose gifts are undeniable. Well I found that person. His name was Jackson Odell.
I met him when he was just 17. When he walked into my studio in Los Angeles with his mother, my first question to him was, “Where are you from?” To my shock he responded, “We’re actually from a small town in Colorado that you’ve probably never heard of, called Evergreen.” Unbelievably, that was my home town, where I grew up. Ok, so we’re from the same home town, so what, that’s nice but does he have any talent? It wasn’t until he played the guitar and sang that I was completely blown away. This kid could sing, write, and play the guitar like I could only have dreamed of at 17. I mean, he could do it all, and he was really, really good at all of it. His voice carved a story into your mind with every word that he sang, while playing the guitar with the precision of a seasoned professional musician. On top of that, he was likable and charismatic, I’ve even used the word ‘magnetic,’ drawing people in to both his personality and his music.
Jackson and I became very good friends. We worked together on a weekly basis. We wrote, we recorded, we talked about life, religion, politics, dude stuff. We really got to know each other. I wanted so badly to see him become successful, the world needed to know how much talent was inside of this kid and how rare of a find he was.
In the three years I knew him, we probably wrote and recorded over 40 songs. We had many placements together in films and TV shows. The last time I saw him, we performed several of the songs that we had in the film, Forever My Girl, at the director’s wrap party. (He played and sang, I accompanied.)
We lost Jackson last weekend, and I am beyond crushed. He was my friend. Yes, he was also my co-writer, but first he was my friend. Even though there was an age difference, music was the great leveler. There was always a chemistry we had together that was unexplainable to me. It was always an easy write and an even easier recording. We would sometimes start multiple songs in a session because Jackson had so much energy and so many ideas that they would simply not be contained. He would get so excited when he came up with a line, he would literally start jumping up and down saying, “I got it! I got it!” I’m really going to miss that.
The world has lost an artist with literally some of the most God given talent I have ever seen. His family and friends have lost a son, a brother, and a friend. I’ll miss you, buddy. Thank you for sharing your talent with me. He was 20 years old. He was brilliant. I don’t really know how else to say it. He was brilliant…
The actor’s career also included small roles on Private Practice, Modern Family, iCarly and Arrested Development.
In a statement posted Sunday to Jackson’s Twitter page, his family confirmed his death: “The Odell family has lost our beloved son and brother, Jackson Odell, on Friday.”
“He will always be a shining light and a brilliant, loving and talented soul. He had so much more to share. Our family will always carry that truth forward. Our wish is that the rest of the world who knew and loved him does as well.”
The family continued, “We are now going to try to make sense of our immeasurable loss privately. We will not be making anymore statements.”