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LaShawn Daniels, GRAMMY-Winning Songwriter & Producer, Dies At 41
Saddness and shock rippled through the music community today as news hit that GRAMMY-winning songwriter and producer LaShawn Daniels died in a car accident in South Carolina. He was 41 years old.
Known by many as Big Shiz, Daniels had a hand in some of the biggest hits of his generation, including Brandy and Monica's “The Boy Is Mine,” Jackson's "You Rock My World" and Destiny's Child's “Say My Name,” which earned Daniels the GRAMMY for Best R&B Song at the 43rd GRAMMY Awards in 2000.
GRAMMY winner Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, a friend and frequent collaborator of Daniels, told the Recording Academy that he will not be forgotten. "Lashawn Daniels aka Big Shiz will not only be remembered for his amazing contribution to the music industry but he will be remembered for always being a light in the room," he said. "His smile, his laugh, his charisma was contagious and he will never be forgotten. My condolences to his entire family."
Earlier this year, the Recording Academy interviewed Daniels about the "Say My Name," one of the many hits he worked on with Jerkins, as it celebrated its 20th anniversary. "You look up 20 years later, and it's like, 'Wow, I was a part of history, and didn't even know it,'" Daniels told us. "We knew we had an opportunity to be in the studio to be with Destiny's Child, and it wasn't taken lightly. We stayed up days thinking and trying to put it together. We did everything we possibly could to make sure we were successful, and lo and behold, 20 years later, I'm doing an interview about a song that we did. I think the mission was accomplished."
Daniels was nominated eight times for GRAMMY Awards, most recently in 2013 for Best R&B Song for Tamar Braxton's "Love and War."
Daniels found massive success when "The Boy Is Mine" dropped when he was just 20 years old. The song was nominated for Best Rythm & Blues Song and Record Of The Year, earning him his first two GRAMMY nods. He followed the hit with Whitney Houston's "It's Not Right But It's Okay," which was nominated the very next year for Best Rythm & Blues Song.
"Today we remember GRAMMY Award winner LaShawn 'Big Shiz' Daniels. An eight-time nominee, he was a multitalented music creator who was known for a number of major hits, including Brandy and Monica’s duet 'The Boy Is Mine,' Lady Gaga’s 'Telephone,' and Destiny’s Child’s 'Say My Name,'” said Deborah Dugan, President/CEO of the Recording Academy. "LaShawn will be deeply missed by many, but will be remembered as a music maker who left a lasting legacy to our creative community."
Many members of his artistic cirle took to social media to express thier sadness at the loss of such a young and prolific talent. Artists such as Kehlani, Kirk Franklin, Ari Lennox, Tank and more have posted tributes.
The entire music community is feeling the loss of one of the greatest to ever do it..... LaShawnDaniels...we just stood together a week ago. No words......
— Kirk Franklin (@kirkfranklin) September 4, 2019
GRAMMY winner Erica Campbell also expressed her gratitude and sadness, posting, "Thank you Shiz for pulling the vocals and swag I had never tapped into. More than that, thank you for laughter friendship and your musical contribution to the world."
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Don’t know what to say I’m so hurt! Man Shawn you were such an incredible dude!! The best part of you was how you loved @iamaprildaniels Thank you Shiz for pulling the vocals and swag I had never tapped into. More than that, thank you for laughter friendship and your musical contribution to the world you and April were definitely one of our favorite couple friends April we got you#lashawndaniels
Daniels is survived by his wife, April Daniels, who Campbell mentions above and who confirmed the devastating news in a post earlier today. His music and legacy will live on in the songs and records he created, the lives he touched and the creators he inspired.