The music industry awoke Wednesday morning (Sept. 4) to the tragic news that one of its greatest hitmakers, LaShawn Daniels, has passed away at 41.
The Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer's wife, April Daniels, confirmed the news on Instagram where she stated that her husband died after he was involved in a fatal car accident in South Carolina.
Taking to Instagram, April thanked everyone for their outpouring of support in the face of her heart-rending loss. In lieu of flowers, April asked for fans to donate to a memorial fund in honor of her husband's memory, the LaShawn Daniels Memorial Fund, via PayPal. You can read her post in full below.
Born in New Jersey, LaShawn made a name for himself as a close collaborator of Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, where his hallmark sound defined early 2000s pop and R&B. Daniels, who was also known as Big Shiz, contributed to a number of memorable classics, including Brandy and Monica’s joint record, “The Boy Is Mine,” Destiny's Child “Say My Name” and “Lose My Breath,” Whitney Houston’s “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay,” and late King of Pop Michael Jackson’s “You Rock My World.”
In 2000, Daniels was awarded a Grammy for his work on “Say My Name,” followed by a nomination in 2013 for his songwriting on Tamar Braxton’s single, “Love & War.” As a close friend of the Braxton family, the record producer was a staple presence on Tamar & Vince and Braxton Family Values.
Alongside writing for others, Daniels also released his own music throughout the years. His last post online was a photo of himself at the 2019 BMI Awards that was held in Atlanta. The photo was uploaded to Instagram on September 1.
His unexpected passing has gripped the hearts of many who knew him personally.
“I really don’t know what to say this is heartbreaking I hope the world knows the angel we just lost. I really wish this weren’t true,” Victoria Monet wrote in a heartfelt tribute alongside a recent exchange between her and Daniels on Instagram.
R&B crooner Tank also penned an emotional tribute to his dear friend where he unloaded some of the emotional baggage he was feeling from coming to terms with Daniels' passing.
“They don’t make em like @bigshiz! That’s the face you make when you’re legacy is not just about what you accomplish professionally but more importantly what you accomplish as a man. He was one of the best of us in every category you could think of,” he said. “I’m lost...I trust God but I'm concerned about this one. We needed him..#RIP.”
Longtime fans and collaborators of Daniels took to social media to pay their respects and remember his legacy. Read their tributes to the fallen producer below.
LaShawn Daniels is survived by his wife and their three sons, Omarr, Tahshon and Jett. Our deepest prayers are with the Daniels family, friends and fans at this most difficult time. We will update you with any further news.
(Photo: Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)