Darius Campbell Danesh found dead aged 41: Ant and Dec lead tributes to Pop Idol singer and West End star

Celebrities across the UK have paid moving tributes to Pop Idol Darius Campbell Danesh following his unexpected death.
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Ant and Dec have led tributes to former Pop Idol singer Darius Campbell Danesh, whose sudden death shocked the showbiz world.

The 41-year-old musician was found dead in his apartment in Minnesota, US on August 11, with an unknown cause of death, his family revealed.

The family said Darius was “found unresponsive in bed in his apartment room” and that there were “no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances”.

Since the news of his death broke out, tributes started to flood in across social media platforms from his celebrity friends who were left ‘completely heartbroken’.

 Darius Danesh at Woolworths, in Watford, in 2005. Darius Danesh at Woolworths, in Watford, in 2005.
Darius Danesh at Woolworths, in Watford, in 2005.

Newcastle presenters Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly also paid tribute to the late singer.

In a statement posted on their joint Twitter account, they said: “We are very sorry to hear of the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh at such a tragically young age.

“We had many laughs with him on his Pop Idol journey. Our hearts go out to his lovely family.”

Here is everything you need to know about Darius Danish as he rose to fame after his Pop Idol and Popstars appearances.

Who was Darius Danish and what was he famous for?

Born in Glasgow and educated at Edinburgh University, Darius was a singer-songwriter and actor and he made his first appearance in the hit show Popstars in 2001, with his quirky rendition of Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time.

After failing to make it on the Popstars show, he then appeared on the first Pop Idol the year after, where he came in third after runner up Gareth Gates and won by Will Young.

He then went on to pursue a 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 had been in a relationship with Canadian actress Natasha Henstridge. The couple married in 2011 at the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California, but had since divorced.

Colourblind, his first single, was released in July 2002 and went straight to number one, marking the beginning of a string of top 10 singles.

His debut album, ‘Dive In,’ was certified platinum, and he went on to have five top 10 singles and a gold-certified second album.

Danesh published ‘Sink or Swim,’ a book about the difficulties of working in the music industry, in 2004 and it became a Sunday Times’ sixth best seller.

Who else paid tribute to Darius?

Also from Newcastle, Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton tweeted: “...thoughts with Darius family right now x always our Britney’’ followed by a red heart and a rainbow emoji.

Simon Cowell, who first met Darius when he finished third place on Pop Idol in 2002, described Darius as “charismatic, funny and a great person to be with”.

He added: “’His passing, for someone so young, is an absolute tragedy and my heart goes out to his family and friends.”

Former Pop Idol judge Nicki Chapman also paid tribute on Tuesday evening, tweeting: “There will only ever be one Darius Campbell Danesh.

“A true gent with a kind soul and 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.”

Darius’ ex-wife, Natasha quoted Mother Theresa in her heartbreaking tribute. The 48-year-old wrote: "I have found the paradox that is you love until it hurts. There can be no more hurt - Only more love - Mother Theresa. There are no words Darius… only Love Love Love. Forever Janam."