Lashawn Daniels, Songwriter Behind ‘The Boy Is Mine’ & ‘Say My Name,’ Dies at 41


Grammy-winning songwriter Lashawn Daniels died Tuesday at age 41 from injuries sustained in a car accident. According to a statement provided by publicist JoJo Pada — and posted by the songwriter's wife, April — Daniels was "the victim of a fatal car accident in South Carolina."

At press time, no further information on the circumstances of the accident were available.

"It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, family member and friend Lashawn Daniels," reads the statement. "A Grammy-winning producer and songwriter, Daniels was a man of extraordinary faith and a pillar in our family."

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Lashwan Daniels Memorial Fund on PayPal here.

Born in New Jersey on Dec. 28, 1977, Daniels is credited with writing a string of high-profile hits for Whitney Houston ("It's Not Right [But It's Okay]"), Michael Jackson ("You Rock My World") and Lady Gaga and Beyoncé ("Telephone"). He had a close working relationship with producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins and is credited with helping to shape the shifting sound of R&B in the late 1990s and early 2000s, winning a Grammy in 2001 for helping to write the signature Destiny's Child hit "Say My Name" and earning two Grammy nominations in 1998 for one of his most beloved tracks, the Brandy and Monica duet "The Boy Is Mine."

In a article celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Say My Name," Daniels revealed the story behind the song, describing the relationship that inspired it. "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 about his "insecure" ex. "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?' Beyoncé was in a relationship at that time, and she could relate well to the situation."

Daniels said that Jerkins built the "perfect marriage" of instrumentation and lyricism on "Say My Name," while DC were just as hands-on in shaping the song's theme. "As time went forward, their creative input was undeniable," he said. "If you came up with a melody or something, and it just didn't sit well with them, or if they didn't think it was dope, their creativity would absolutely speak back. We always had a respect of each other's creativity. There were no egos to stop any idea from making it out of any of our mouths."

He and wife April appeared on the 2012 WE reality series Tamar & Vince about their friends Tamar Braxton and her then-husband Vincent Herbert. Daniels released his solo debut in 2018, The Big Shiz Project.

The songwriter's peers, including Kirk Franklin, Mario, Kehlani and Dawn Richard, took to social media to mourn his death.

Watch "The Boy Is Mine" video below.