Singer Darius Campbell Danesh has died at the age of 41. The former Pop Idol contestant was found unresponsive in his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota, on Thursday last week. The cause of death is not yet known.
Apart from being a singer and songwriter, Darius was also an actor and starred in a number of Broadway and West End shows. Continue reading to know more about the Scottish singer and his unfortunate death.
Family Confirms Darius’ Demise
Darius’ family released a statement on August 16 to share the news of his death. The statement read, “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.”
They also revealed that there was no sign of foul play, adding, “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.”
The family has asked for privacy at this time of grief. The statement further read, “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 Rose to Fame with ITV’s Popstars
Darius was born in Glasgow on 19 August 1980 to a Scottish mother and an Iranian father. He shot to fame with his appearance on the British talent show Popstars in 2001. A year later, he participated in the first season of Pop Idol. He reached the final and bagged the third position.
Following the show, Danesh turned down a record deal from judge Simon Cowell and went on to work with producer Steve Lillywhite. The two collaborated on his single Colourblind, which reached number one in the UK, while his album Dive In reached the top 10. In the next three years, four more of his songs reached the top 10 charts.
In 2003, Danesh wrote a book about his time in the music industry, titled Sink or Swim, which became a Sunday Times bestseller. In 2010, he won the ITV competition, Popstar to Operastar, during which he was trained to sing opera.
Campbell Reprised the Role of Flynn in the Musical Chicago
Darius was also known for his acting prowess. He starred as Billy Flynn during the West End runs of the musical Chicago in 2005-2006, becoming the youngest actor to play the role since the inception of the show in 1975.
He said that the inspiration behind the role was his old mentor and Pop Idol judge, Simon 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,” Darius said at the time.
Apart from Chicago, he also starred as Sky Masterson in the Olivier Award-winning show Guys and Dolls, and as Rhett Butler in Sir Trevor Nunn’s theatrical adaptation of Gone with the Wind. Campbell became a supporter of cancer charities including Cancer Research UK after both his parents were diagnosed, and recovered from the disease.
Our prayers and condolences go out to the family of the deceased singer-actor. Stay tuned for more news and updates.