Darius Campbell Danesh, a singer, and actor who gained popularity on the ITV talent series Popstars and Pop Idol two decades ago, has passed away at age 41.
In 2002, the Scot finished third on Pop Idol behind Gareth Gates and Will Young.
Later that year, he debuted at number one in the UK with Colorblind. While his album Dive In peaked at number ten.
He went on to become a West End sensation after his chart-topping performance. He made appearances in shows like Chicago and the Olivier Award-winning Guys and Dolls.
His relatives reported that he was discovered in his US residence, though the exact cause of death remains unknown.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh,” they said in a statement. “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 examiner’s office.”
Tribute by Fans
The family in a statement said, “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.”
Fans and famous people, such as record producer Simon Cowell, who served as a Pop Idol judge, expressed tribute.
“I first saw Darius on television over 20 years ago and I got to know him really well,” he said. “His passing, for someone so young, is an absolute tragedy and my heart goes out to his family and friends.”
Tweets by other celebrities
In a tweet, judge and broadcaster Nicki Chapman said Campbell Danesh was “a true gent with a kind soul.” She even expressed her thoughts to his family.
During their time working together on the show, Gareth Gates, who placed second to Will Young on Pop Idol, referred to Campbell Danesh as a “big brother” who “took me under his wing.”
Actor Sanjeev Bhaskar tweeted: “Sad news of Darius’ shockingly untimely passing. He was a guest on The Kumars and couldn’t have been a nicer, warmer guest with a great sense of self-deprecation.”
Who was Campbell Danesh?
Campbell Danesh studied English literature and philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He was born in Glasgow in 1980 to a Scottish mother and an Iranian father.
But he placed his goals on fame and gained fame for his theatrical cover of Britney Spears’s “Baby One More Time” on Popstars, the groundbreaking talent show from 2001.
He reappeared on the follow-up, Pop Idol, later that year without the ponytail and beard and with a new attitude that propelled him to the final three. Over 13 million people watched the championship.
He won Pop Idol but did not accept the judge Simon Cowell’s offer to sign a record deal. He chose to work with producer Steve Lillywhite, with whom he co-wrote the hit song Colourblind. Later, he explained to The Guardian that he had been pressured to release two covers when we wanted to focus on original material. This is why he had declined Cowell’s “gracious” offer.
I am a theatre enthusiast practicing theatre for two years now. I am on the path of exploring the true meaning of art and juxtaposing it with life. Oh! As a side hustle, I am pursuing a Bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communication.