Keys, who was asked as a previous Time 100 honoree to submit a Person of the Year nomination, said in a statement on Time's website, "I remember Skyping with [Shannon]; her spirit was so bright and brilliant! We sang for each other. Scientists believe a cure [for leukemia] is possible. We need to support them in every way, so a candle like Shannon can keep burning on."
Tavarez was performing as Young Nala in The Lion King in rotation with another actress when she was diagnosed with leukemia in April. Her story inspired thousands of registrations for bone marrow donations both before and after her untimely death.