On Wednesday morning (Sept. 4), it was reported that veteran songwriter LaShawn Daniels passed away at age 41. According to The Independent, the cause of death has yet to be made public.
Affectionately known as Big Shiz, the pen-master crafted lyrics for R&B and Pop’s top vocalists of the late 90s into the 2000s. Daniels wrote hits like Michael Jackson’s “You Rock My World,” “One Wish” by Ray J, Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine,” “It’s Not Right (But It’s Okay)” by Whitney Houston, and the Grammy-winning track “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child. In 2013, Daniels was nominated for another gramophone for his work on Tamar Braxton’s hit melody “Love and War.”
In tandem with producer/songwriter extraordinaire Rodney Jerkins, he and Daniels began a fruitful partnership in placing an iconic stamp on R&B during the 90s and early aughts. Working on Brandy’s sophomore album Never Say Never continued to boost the pair’s studio creations and led them to work with a countless number of singers.
In an interview with Parle Magazine, Daniels shared one of his proudest moments as an acclaimed songwriter, highlighting Drake’s “Girls Love Beyonce” and its sample of “Say My Name” as a highlight.
“I think as a writer, one of my proudest moments are when I hear the newer artist that’s popping, great and respected, sample a song that I worked on. Then when they mention you on Instagram, it becomes ‘Wow! I didn’t even know y’all dug into credits like that.’ Drake used the ‘Say My Name’ hook on one of his records and since then he’s used four more, even with his latest project,” Daniels said. “The turnaround of music being appreciated in a way that somebody refers to something you’ve done and recognize you and respect it enough to figure out who you are, that’s really a proud moment. People would say to me, ‘I knew that was you when I heard this line or that rip,’ it’s crazy! But it’s a really, really proud moment for me. You feel like you’ve made a difference and set yourself aside in a world of singers and arrangements. I’m just always in awe and appreciative.”
His music industry peers expressed their condolences and memories on social media. Daniels wife, April Daniels, issued a statement on Instagram. According to CNN, the beloved hitmaker died from injuries in a car accident.
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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. Pardon my human thoughts but there are so many people who don’t value life and make a mockery of what God has given but we have to lose him? A man who stood on principles, morals, spirituality, and the uplifting of the most high! What a man we have lost. What an example! What big shoes we have to fill! I’m lost.. I trust God but i’m concerned about this one. We needed him..🙏🏾 #RIP
we was supposed go crazy next week… appreciate you for fuckin wit me OG.. your legacy will never be forgotten! this shit crazy! RIP Lashawn Daniels 💔
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) September 4, 2019
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
If there was ever a physical representation of “Your gift making room for you,” you were it. @BIGSHIZ , thank you for being a pioneer in every genre and for unashamedly proclaiming your faith. You will be missed 🙏🏾 We are praying 💔 #LaShawnDaniels pic.twitter.com/lU3rCk5vqw
— RCA Inspiration (@RCAInspiration) September 4, 2019
Damn.. LaShawn Daniels.. wtf, this can’t be real. This HURTS. He provided so many iconic songs in my life. Rest easy big man.. you will live in forever! pic.twitter.com/lgTOn4XWx4
— Mike Hough (@mikehoughmusic) September 4, 2019
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💔💔💔💔💔 I can’t even process that you’re gone. I learned everything I know about harmonies and vocal production and songwriting from YOU at day one straight outta sac into your arms and coaching!! All of your timeless work. Purple Reign days are my entire foundation. The classic songs you’ve written. Your kindness and willingness to work with some new girls straight from their hometown and give us your ALL after working with LEGENDS ONLY! I would be nothing. I was just talking about you to billboard and it feels like yesterday that we were all in the studio laughing, crying, working day and night just to get a glimpse of a dream. The way you made me do it over and over and teach me to come and sing with that shiz vibrato that was so recognizably yours. Your patience with my pitchy ass at 19. The way you sang toot it and boot it around the studio echoing in the halls. That loud contagious laugh. I will never forget your presence. I really don’t know what to say this is heart breaking I hope the world knows the angel we just lost. I 😥😥😥 really wish this weren’t true. Life is so short man I pray for your family. Your twin son. I pray that God wraps his arms around everyone tonight as we pray and re imagine you with the wings you’ve always had. I will miss you Shiz. So much. Rest well. Play your music and sing loud in heaven so we can hear it in our dreams. I love you
Yooooo I’m lost. Lashawn Daniels died?!!!! I’m stuck. This man took my vocal ability to new levels while working in Dirty Money. One of the funniest people with the best heart. A rare talent and a beautiful soul.
— DAWN (@DawnRichard) September 4, 2019
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I spent a lot of time with Shiz. One of my favorite stories from him is when he told me when he knew he was ready to get married and how he knew his wife was the one. We talked about this when I was in height of my single/wild phase. His words from that day had and still have a profound effect on me. Not only was he an incredible creative, he was a genuine and giving person who loved his family and adored his wife. And every time we were together, he kept me laughing so hard. We spoke earlier in the year about getting together and doing some work. My mind is blown right now and my heart is heavy. Rest easy my friend, @bigshiz.
LaShawn Daniels is a legend. Thank you for creating some of the most powerful songs ever. Rest in Heaven KING.
— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) September 4, 2019
YOUR gift wasn’t just in your brilliant melody and lyric, it was when you walked into a room, when you laughed!
I thank God for your laugh, and the time I got to share with you on this Earth!
Our moments in the studio, our talks,
Our heart to hearts on life & family! pic.twitter.com/FkCmrPy5PG
— KELENDRIA ROWLAND (@KELLYROWLAND) September 4, 2019
Life is precious, live it in happiness. #RIPLaShawnDaniels
— Stevie J. (@hitmansteviej) September 4, 2019