Darius Campbell Danesh found dead aged 41: Birmingham pays tribute to Pop Idol singer and West End star

Birmingham’s big names have been making tributes to Darius Campbell Danesh
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Tributes have been pouring in for Darius Campbell Danesh, after the singer’s unexpected death, with a number of big names in Birmingham contributing.

His family announced on Tuesday 16 August that the former Pop Idol star had been found dead in his United States apartment.

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In a statement, his family said: “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.

"The local police department has confirmed 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."

Who was Darius Campbell Danesh?

Darius was a Scottish singer, songwriter, musician, film producer and actor best known for reaching the finals of the TV talent show Pop Idol in 2001.

Darius Campbell attends the photocall to promote his debut in the West End production of Chicago in 2011 (Photo: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)Darius Campbell attends the photocall to promote his debut in the West End production of Chicago in 2011 (Photo: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
Darius Campbell attends the photocall to promote his debut in the West End production of Chicago in 2011 (Photo: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
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Following his success on Pop Idol, Darius released his debut single “Colourblind” in 2002, with the song entering the UK singles chart at number one, staying at the top for two weeks and was certified silver.

Around two years later, Campbell released his debut album ‘Dive In’ which peaked at number six on the UK charts and went on to record five UK top ten singles as well as two gold albums.

The singer also starred in the West End, playing the role of Billy Flynn in Chicago, as well as playing the lead role of Sky Masterson in the Olivier-award-winning musical ‘Guys and Dolls’.

The Glasgow-born singer also portrayed the role of Rhett Butler in the theatrical version of ‘Gone With The Wind’, which is one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.

Birmingham pays tribute to Darius Campbell Danesh

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Matthew Marsden, a Coronation Street actor from West Bromwich, tweeted: “This is truly heartbreaking. I first met Darius when he auditioned for the Big Breakfast weather man years ago. He was a terrific human being. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Birmingham Hippodrome, a theatre where Darius performed in 2017, tweeted: “We are incredibly sad to hear about the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh, who starred on our stage in Funny Girl. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Pop Idol judges and singers pay tribute to Darius

Amongst the hundreds of tributes paid to Darius is Simon Cowell who was a judge on Pop Idol back when Darius burst onto the scene.

He said: “I first saw Darius on television over 20 years ago and I got to know him really well. He was charismatic, funny and just a great person to be with. His passing, for someone so young, is an absolute tragedy and my heart goes out to his family and friends.”

Former Pop Idol contestant Darius Campbell at the Suicide Squad European Premiere in LondonFormer Pop Idol contestant Darius Campbell at the Suicide Squad European Premiere in London
Former Pop Idol contestant Darius Campbell at the Suicide Squad European Premiere in London
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Gareth Gates, who appeared on the same series of Pop Idol as Darius, said: “I can’t quite believe the news of my dear friend Darius passing. I’m heartbroken.

“Darius took me under his wing during our time in Pop Idol, like a big brother; always looking out for me and for that I thank you my friend.

“I will miss our chats. He was one of the most beautiful, intelligent and gentle souls I was lucky enough to know, a soul that lit up every room. Goodbye my friend. Forever in my heart.”

Ant and Dec, who presented Pop Idol between 2001 and 2003, 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.”

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Nicky Chapman, who saw Danesh in his first audition for Popstars, said: “There will only ever be one Darius Campbell Danesh.

A true gent with a kind soul & mischievous twinkle 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.”

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