Darius Campbell Danesh, who rose to fame after covering Britney Spears’ ‘Baby One More Time’ on Pop Idol in the UK has died, aged 41.
Scottish singer and West End performer Darius Campbell Danesh has died.
The performer became a UK household name in 2001, during the early days of reality singing contests, following an audition piece to Britney Spears’ song Hit Me Baby One More Time on Popstars, before taking part in Pop Idol the following year where he ultimately finished in third place behind Will Young and Gareth Gates.
He went on to release two studio albums and appeared in West End shows such as Chicago, Guys and Dolls and Funny Girl.
Danesh was found unresponsive in his bed at his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota US, on August 11 his family confirmed today (August 16).
The cause of death has not yet been released. Police have said there were ‘no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances’, his relatives also confirmed.
“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 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.”
Born in Glasgow to a Scottish mother and Iranian father, Darius was the eldest of three boys and attended Bearsden Primary School before studying English literature and philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.
In 2011, he married Canadian actress Natasha Henstridge, but they divorced a few years later.
In 2010, he spoke to Hello! Magazine about a car crash in which he broke his neck.
The singer had been a passenger in a Porsche when it hit a wall at 70mph after skidding on oil during a holiday in Spain.
The singer was then taken seriously ill in 2017 when he collapsed and went into a near-fatal coma while promoting filters for a safe drinking water charity.
He was showing how to use water filter bottle tops when he used a dummy version and mistakenly drank dirty water from the River Thames, later developing meningitis and swelling on the brain as a result.
Tributes have been pouring in from a range of stars on social media:
Proper sad about Darius ❤️
— R Y L A N (@Rylan) August 16, 2022
Colourblind will never stop being a banger. RIP Darius x
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) August 16, 2022
Darius was a lovely bloke. I got to know him quite well twenty-odd years ago. He came across as very confident and ambitious on TV but away from the cameras he was gentle, generous, humble & utterly devoted to his little brothers. What a sad, sad day for them and their family.
— James Oh Brien (@mrjamesob) August 16, 2022
So sad … thoughts with Darius family right now x always our Britney ❤️🌈
— michelle heaton (@wonderwomanshel) August 16, 2022
There will only ever be one Darius Campbell Danesh.
A true gent with a kind soul & mischievous tinkle in his eye. From that eventful first audition on Popstars to him kindly inviting me to see him perform on the West End stage
Thoughts are with his family at this sad time pic.twitter.com/HaIlEUM11l
— Nicki Chapman (@Nicki_Chapman) August 16, 2022
This is really sad. Thoughts with his family and friends and everyone who loved him. A really good bloke – funny and kind and very talented https://t.co/Opo5y47ibv
— Lorraine (@reallorraine) August 16, 2022