Pop Idol icon Darius Campbell Danesh has been found dead in his US apartment, aged 41, his family has said in a statement.
The singer was found in his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota. His cause of death remains unknown.
The singer-songwriter rose to fame after appearing on Popstars in 2001 opposite Liberty X and Hear’Say. The Scottish native also appeared on the first season of Pop Idol the following year, alongside winner Will Young.
Family’s ‘tragic loss’ after Darius Campbell Danesh found dead
A statement from his family 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.
“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.”
Darius, who grew up in the Bearsden neighbourhood of Glasgow, attended Glasgow Academy. He studied English Literature and Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh before his singing career took off.
Darius horror car crash a decade ago
The Popstar to Opera Star winner was ‘three millimetres from death’ after he suffered a horror car crash. It resulted in the star breaking his neck, writes the Mail Online.
He told Hello! Magazine at the time he turned down an operation over fears it could affect his voice. He said his “trauma compression injury” was similar to Superman star’s Christopher Reeve’s devastating injury, who was paralysed following a horse riding accident.
Darius was a passenger in a Porsche when the car hit a wall at 70mph after skidding on oil in Spain.
Darius was then told by a nurse if the crack in his vertebrae was ‘three millimetres’ in another direction he wouldn’t have survived.
In 2017, he fell into a coma after contracting meningitis and suffering from swelling on the brain. The star had accidentally drunk dirty water from the River Thames and was left fighting for his life. He managed to recover from the incident.
Darius turned down Simon Cowell’s offer
However, Darius had turned down a music contract with Simon Cowell after TV fame. He went on to have five hit singles that hit the UK top 10 after. This includes his number one song Colourblind.
His debut album Dive In went platinum.
After beating Bernie Nolan of the Nolan sisters for ITV’s Popstar to Operastar, he landed an opera role in Carmen at London’s O2 Arena.
The star also appeared in Chicago as lawyer Billy Flynn for two runs of the show, as well as Guys and Dolls and Gone With The Wind.
On his role as Flynn, Darius previously said he based the role on his old mentor Simon Cowell.
He said: “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.”
But he credited mentor Simon Cowell with persuading him to embark on the role.
Darius added: “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.”
The star dabbled in the movie industry and went into film producing in Hollywood. He worked on the Daniel Radcliffe horror Imperium back in 2016. Darius also worked on Tomorrow two years later. He produced a documentary in 2018 titled in Fountain of Youth, writes The Sun.
The 41-year-old then went to live in the US. He married Canadian actress Natasha Henstridge in February 2011 at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara. The pair filed for divorce in 2013.
Tributes pour in for the star
Tributes have poured in for Darius Campbell Danesh after he was tragically found dead.
One fan wrote on Twitter: “I am so sad to hear about Darius Campbell Danesh, like my heart sank when I read the news. Rest peacefully, Darius.”
Birmingham Hippodrome wrote: “We are incredibly sad to hear about the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh, who starred on our stage in Funny Girl back in 2017. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
A third said: “I remember listening to “Colourblind” many times in 2002…such a bop. RIP Darius Campbell Danesh.”