LaShawn Daniels, the songwriter who helped write some of the greatest hits from artists like Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, and Michael Jackson, has died. He was 41.
LaShawn passed away on Tuesday, September 3 after being involved in a car accident, according to a statement shared via his wife April’s Instagram account.
LaShawn Daniels at the ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO on April 15, 2017 in California | Photo: Getty Images
"It is with deep sorrow and profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, family member, and friend, Lashawn Daniels who was the victim of a fatal car accident in South Carolina," the statement read.
"A Grammy-award winning producer and songwriter, Daniels was a man of extraordinary faith and a pillar in our family. We would like to express our sincere appreciation for the continuous outpouring of love and sympathy. We ask that you respect the privacy of our entire family during this difficult time."
In the caption, April asked that donations be made to the Lashawn Daniels Memorial Fund in place of flowers.
Born in New Jersey, LaShawn, also known as Big Shiz, worked mostly with acclaimed producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins to pen some of the biggest hits that defined pop and R&B in the 1990s and early 200s, CNN reported.
Michael Jackson's "You Rock My World," Toni Braxton’s "He Wasn't Man Enough," "Telephone" by Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga and Whitney Houston’s "It's Not Right (But It's Okay)" are some of the tracks LaShawn worked his magic on.
In 2000, he won a Grammy award for "Best R&B Song" as one of the writers of “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child. LaShawn also worked with the now-defunct group on their 2004 hit “Lose My Breath.”
Close friends with the Braxton family, LaShawn and his wife April were often featured on their reality series “Braxton Family Values” and on Tamar Braxton’s spinoff with then-husband Vincent Herbert, “Tamar & Vince.”
LaShawn’s most recent Grammy recognition came in 2013 when he was nominated for "Best R&B Song" thanks to his work on Tamar’s single “Love and War.”
Less than a week before his death, LaShawn was paying tribute to Michael Jackson, grateful for being a part of history through his work with the late King of Pop.
“How could this kid from Newark NJ get to such a level?” LaShawn wrote alongside a throwback pic of the duo. “Answer; MY LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST! God allows us to be part of history and we not [sic] even know.”
News of LaShawn’s death has been met with grief across the music industry as friends are taking to social media in mourning.
“The entire music community is feeling the loss of one of the greatest to ever do it,” gospel artist Kirk Franklin tweeted. “LaShawnDaniels, we just stood together a week ago. No words.”
R&B crooner Mario also paid tribute to the late songwriter’s talent.
“In this Industry we all know how hard it is to come across talented & genuine people. Lashawn you were one of them homie! Wish we had more words but it was always love. Sending prayers out to your wife and kids. This is tragic but your legacy & spirit will live on.”
“He’s only co-written/vocal produced literally all of our favourite records - this is so sad,” British singer/songwriter MNEK added.
Per MadameNoire, LaShawn is survived by his wife of 13 years, April and their sons Omarr, Tahshon and Jett. Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends of LaShawn Daniels as they go through this difficult time.
Rest in Peace, Big Shiz!