Grammy-winning songwriter killed in head-on crash in York County

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — Channel 9 has learned that one of the two people killed in a fiery head-on crash Tuesday evening in York County was a famous Grammy-winning songwriter.

The York County Coroner's Office confirmed that Lashawn Daniels, of Waxhaw, died when his van collided with a pickup truck driven by Jackie Moss Jr., of Kings Mountain.

Moss was also killed in the crash, which happened around 5:30 p.m. on Highway 5 near the Catawba River.

Troopers said both the van and the truck caught fire after colliding and that both drivers died at the scene.

Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew above the scene and could see the van and pickup truck with a trailer attached that were both badly damaged after colliding head-on and catching fire.

Troopers said the Ford pickup truck was traveling west on Highway 5 when it crossed the center line and hit the Ford van and a Jeep SUV that were traveling east

The driver of the SUV was airlifted to a hospital, and a passenger was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Daniels, who was 41, helped write countless hits for artists like Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Jackson, according to his publicist JoJo Pada.

His wife, April Daniels, also shared the news in a statement posted on social media on Wednesday.

"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," her statement read. "A Grammy-award winning producer and songwriter, Daniels was a man of extraordinary faith and a pillar in our family."

Known as Big Shiz, the New Jersey native worked closely with acclaimed producer/songwriter Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins and was the pen behind some of the biggest hits from the 1990s and early aughts.

Some of his credits include Michael Jackson's "You Rock My World," "It's Not Right (But It's Okay)" by Whitney Houston, "Telephone" by Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga and the now iconic Monica and Brandy duet, "The Boy Is Mine."

He won a Grammy in 2001 for best R&B song as one of the writers on the hit single "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child.

This past June, Daniels told the Recording Academy for an article celebrating the song's 20th anniversary that the tune was inspired by a relationship he had been in with a woman who worried about his faithfulness.

"I would be places, I would be at work, and if [my girlfriend] would call or hear anyone laughing, or speaking, or doing anything in the background, she'd be like, 'Who is that?'" he said. "Then she'd be like, 'Well, say my name then, and tell me that you love me.'"

"[The song] was actually the premise of what I would go through, and we had the conversation of 'how embarrassing is that," Daniels added. "Beyoncé was in a relationship at that time, and she could relate well to the situation."

The song has had staying power. Rapper Drake used the hook in one of his own recordings, which Daniels talked to Parle Magazine about last year.

"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," Daniels said. "Then when they mention you on Instagram, it becomes 'Wow! I didn't even know y'all dug into credits like that.'"

Daniels found love with his wife April, a hair stylist and clothing designer, and they had three sons together.

The pair were regulars on the 2012 WE reality series "Tamar & Vince" featuring their close friends singer Tamar Braxton and her then husband, record executive Vincent Herbert.

Charlotte radio host Fly Ty described Daniels to Channel 9's Elsa Gillis over the phone.

"Not only an icon in the music industry for what he did but just a good father, a good husband, a good man period," said Fly Ty. "That was my brother, so we were very good friends me and my wife loved him and his family. He had a special way of making you laugh and just making you feel good about life that’s how he lived his life."

In 2013, Daniels was nominated for Grammy for his work on Braxton's single "Love and War."
He had a great love for gospel music and last year released his debut album as a solo artist, "The Big Shiz Project."

Brandon Sutton is a local artist who said Daniels was a mentor to him. Sutton said he recently attended one of Daniels music conferences.

"I really got a chance to know his heart above the accolades and everything," Sutton said. "I believe everybody should know he was a man after God's heart, a man of love, a man of community."

News of Daniel's death was greeted Wednesday with an outpouring of grief from the music industry on Twitter.

"The entire music community is feeling the loss of one of the greatest to ever do it," legendary gospel artist Kirk Franklin tweeted. "LaShawnDaniels...we just stood together a week ago. No words."

Fly Ty said in the days to come, he and others will not focus on mourning his death, but celebrating his life.

CNN contributed to this story.