Women's Health

Darius has died: Pop Idol star is found dead in his US apartment aged 41


Former Pop Idol contestant and stage star Darius Campbell has been found dead in his US apartment at the age of 41, his family has announced.

The singer and actor was found in Rochester, Minnesota on August 11 – although the cause of death remains unknown.

A statement said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh. Darius was found unconscious in bed at his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota on August 11 and was pronounced dead that afternoon by the local medical examiners office.

“The local police department confirmed that there were no signs of suspicious intent or circumstances. The cause of his sudden death is unknown at this stage as medical examinations continue.

“We ask that you please respect our wishes for privacy at this time as we come to terms with the tragic loss of our son and brother.”

The Scottish singer-songwriter and actor – who was known as Darius Danesh when he made his first bid for fame on the ITV Popstars show in 2001 – also appeared on the first Pop Idol, which was won by Will Young.

He went on to build a successful stage career, appearing in Chicago as Billy Flynn in two series of the production, as well as Guys And Dolls, Gone with the Wind and more in the West End.

He lived in the United States and found love with Canadian actress Natasha Henstridge, whose films include the sci-fi hit Species.

The couple married in 2011 at the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California, but divorced a few years later.

In 2010, he spoke to Hello! magazine about a car accident 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 sunny break in Spain.

After finishing third on Pop Idol in 2010, he won the first round of ITV’s Popstar To Operastar contest, beating Bernie Nolan of the Nolan Sisters in a close final.

A few months after winning the ITV show, which featured Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins and Mexican-born tenor Rolando Villazon as judges, he landed his first big opera role when he was cast in a new production of Carmen at the O2 Arena in London.

He took on the lead role of bullfighter Escamillo in the production, for a one-off performance that marked the hall’s first ever opera at the time.

In 2011, speaking about reprising the role of scheming Chicago lawyer Flynn, he said he based his portrayal of the character on his former mentor and Pop Idol judge, Simon Cowell.

Campbell starred opposite Ugly Betty star America Ferrera in the Prohibition-era Chicago musical, and said: “He’s a successful businessman and a great guy and he there’s a lot of Simon Cowell in Billy Flynn in terms of how he approaches things and I recognize that in terms of character.

He credited Cowell with persuading him to take on the role in Chicago in the first place.

He said: “I’m incredibly grateful for the experiences I’ve had and all the opportunities it’s opened up and to be able to call Simon Cowell a friend and to be able to have dinner with him.”

Dead: Former Pop Idol contestant and theater star Darius Campbell was found dead in his US apartment at the age of 41, his family have announced

Dead: Former Pop Idol contestant and theater star Darius Campbell was found dead in his US apartment at the age of 41, his family have announced

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