NFL Star & DWTS Alum, Keyshawn Johnson Shares His Heartbreak over the Death of Daughter Maia

Olowokandi Fiyin
Mar 16, 2021
11:40 A.M.
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Former NFL player and "Dancing with the Stars" alum Keyshawn Johnson announced the tragic news of his oldest daughter's death. Maia was only 25-years-old at the time of her heartbreaking demise.


NFL star Keyshawn Johnson recently experienced a devastating loss. The former Dallas Cowboys player shared the tragic news that his oldest daughter Maia passed away at 25. He wrote in a statement:

"It is with incredible sadness that I have to share the news about the passing of my beautiful daughter Maia."

Keyshawn Johnson is seen on June 14, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images


Johnson welcomed Maia with his first wife, Shikiri Hightower. The grieved athlete described his late daughter as a "beloved presence" and the joy of he and Hightower's lives as she came into their world when they were just coming of age.

He wrote that he, his ex-wife, Maia's siblings, and other loved ones were heartbroken by Maia's death. Johnson concluded, thanking fans for their thoughts and prayers while asking for privacy during this challenging period.


The cause of death wasn't revealed. The tweet, which received over 81,000 likes and 3,000 retweets, garnered an outpouring of condolence messages and support for the grief-stricken family. ESPN released a statement that read:

"Our thoughts are with Keyshawn and his family as they deal with this unthinkable tragedy. He has the full support of his ESPN family."


Football broadcaster Louis Riddick sympathized with Johnson and his family via tweet, noting that he was saddened to hear about their loss. Sports journalist Jemele Hill also shared a condolence message.

Johnson and Hightower tied the knot in 1998, calling it quits four years later. During the course of their marriage, they welcomed Maia and a son named Keyshawn Jr. The 48-year-old is currently married to Jennifer Conrad.


The couple shares two children. Asides from his stellar career in the NFL, which boasted 64 receiving touchdowns and 10,571 yards, Johnson made headlines when he joined the lineup for "Dancing with the Stars."

The former NFL wide receiver was announced as part of the guest contestants in September 2013 for season 17, raising the expectations of sports fans who had seen previous athletes make waves on the ABC dancing competition.

Johnson was paired with professional dancer Sharna Burgess. Unfortunately, the duo got eliminated by the second week, making them the first couple to leave the reality show. Our thoughts are with Johnson and his family.