Darius Campbell Danesh dead: Pop Idol star dies aged 41 after being found in US apartment, family reveal | The Sun

POP Idol contestant Darius Campbell Danesh has died at the age of 41, his family announced today.

The star, who burst onto the scene with his memorable rendition of Britney Spears' Baby One More Time, was found dead in his US apartment on August 11.

The cause of his death isn't known. However, police say there are no suspicious circumstances.

Photographers captured a final photo of the performer back in June, when he was spotted heading to the beach in Malibu with Gerard Butler.

A statement released by his family today reads: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh.

"Darius was found unresponsive in bed in his apartment room in Rochester, Minnesota, on August 11 and was pronounced dead in the afternoon by the local medical examiners' office.

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"The local police department have confirmed that there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances.

"The cause of his sudden death is unknown at this stage while medical examinations continue.

"We ask that you kindly respect our wishes for privacy at this time whilst we come to terms with the tragic loss of our son and brother."

Rylan was among the first to pay tribute after the tragic news broke today.

The former X Factor contestant tweeted: "Proper sad about Darius."

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Darius, a Scottish singer-songwriter and actor, was initially known as Darius Danesh when he made his first bid for fame in ITV show Popstars in 2001.

He also appeared on the first Pop Idol, which was won by Will Young.

His debut single, Colourblind, was released in July 2002 and went straight to number one, marking the start of a run of top 10 releases.

Darius then went on to forge a successful stage career, appearing in Chicago as Billy Flynn in two runs of the production, as well as Guys And Dolls, Gone With The Wind and more in the West End.

He lived in the US and found love with Canadian actress Natasha Henstridge, whose films include sci-fi hit Species.


The couple married in 2011 at the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California. They were divorced a few years later, but were spotted passionately kissing three years after their split.

In 2016, he was linked to Daisy Lowe. He was also in a relationship with Guy Ritchie's wife Jacqui Ainsworth for two years in the early 2000s.

In 2010, he spoke to Hello! magazine after suffering a broken neck in a horror car smash.

The singer had been a passenger in a Porsche when it hit a wall at 70mph after skidding on oil during a sunshine break in Spain.

And he hit the headlines again on December 17, 2017 when he revealed he had slipped into a coma after contracting meningitis when he drank water from the Thames.

But he also made the papers for his characteristically enthusiastic performances.

In 2010, he came third on Pop Idol before going on to win the first series of ITV's Popstar To Operastar contest, beating Bernie Nolan of the Nolan Sisters in a close final.

A few months after claiming victory on the ITV show, which featured Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins and Mexican-born tenor Rolando Villazon as judges, he landed his first major opera role as he was cast in a new production of Carmen at London's O2 Arena.


He took on the principal role of toreador Escamillo in the production for a one-off performance which marked the first-ever opera at the venue at the time.

In 2011, speaking about reprising the role of Chicago's scheming lawyer Flynn, he said he had based his portrayal of the character on his old mentor and Pop Idol judge, Simon Cowell.

Campbell starred opposite Ugly Betty star America Ferrera in the musical set in prohibition-era Chicago.

He said of Cowell: "He's the consummate businessman and a wonderful guy and there's a lot of Simon Cowell in Billy Flynn in terms of the way he approaches things and I recognise that in terms of the character."

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He credited his mentor with persuading him to take on the role in Chicago in the first place.

He said: "I'm incredibly grateful for the experiences I've had and all the opportunities that it opened up and to be able to call Simon Cowell a friend and to be able to have dinner with him."

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