Pop Idol and West End star Darius Campbell Danesh, 41, dies


Pop Idol and West End star Darius Campbell Danesh, 41, dies, Darius Campbell Danesh, an actor, and singer who became famous in the 1990s thanks to the ITV competition show Popstars and Pop Idol passed away at the age of 41.

In 2002’s Pop Idol competition, the Scotsman placed third, behind winners Will Young and Gareth Gates.

Later that year, his single “Colourblind” topped the UK charts, while his album “Dive In” charted in the top 10.

After his first success in the charts, he went on to star in musicals on London’s West End, including Chicago and the Olivier Award-winning Guys and Dolls.

His family has reported he was found in his residence in the United States, but they have not revealed the circumstances surrounding his death.

Darius Campbell Danesh’s passing was “an extremely tragic event,” the family said in a statement. According to the Rochester, Minnesota, medical examiner’s office, “Darius was found unresponsive in bed in his apartment room on August 11 and was pronounced dead that afternoon.” According to the local police, there were no warning signals or anything else that seemed unusual. Medical tests are still ongoing to determine what caused his unexpected demise.

We would appreciate your privacy while we mourn the loss of our son and sibling.

Pop Idol judge and record executive Simon Cowell led the tributes from fans and celebrities.

It’s been over 20 years since I first saw Darius on TV, but in that time I’ve gotten to know him rather well, he remarked.

It’s been said of him, “He was a lot of fun to be around; he had a lot of charm and humor.”

For someone so young to pass away, it is a tragedy, and my thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones.

One who is “kind, generous, and humble”

Nicki Chapman, a journalist and one of the show’s judges, took to Twitter to describe Campbell Danesh as “a true gent with a loving soul” and to express her condolences to his loved ones.

“Sad news about Darius’ brutally untimely passing,” actor Sanjeev Bhaskar tweeted. One of the hosts of The Kumars said, “He couldn’t have been a kinder, warmer guest with a terrific sense of self-deprecation.”

Broadcaster James O’Brien chimed in, saying, “Darius was a great bloke.” “He seemed very assured and ambitious on television, yet away from the cameras he was kind, generous, humble, and completely dedicated to his younger brothers.”

Campbell Danesh, whose parents are Scottish and Iranian, was born in 1980 in Glasgow and attended the University of Edinburgh to study English Literature and Philosophy.

But his ambitions were bent on fame, and he first gained notice on Popstars, the groundbreaking talent show of 2001, with his dramatic rendition of “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears.

Later the same year, he made a comeback on the spinoff series Pop Idol, this time without the ponytail and beard but with a renewed sense of confidence that propelled him to the show’s final three. Over 13 million people around the world tuned in to see the championship match.

Fond reminiscences

The artist reflected on his early days on the shows, saying they had a significant impact on him in an interview with Digital Spy in 2017.

“I look back on it all with pleasant recollections, and with a profound appreciation of the support of the British audience at the time I initially went through Popstars — I made mistakes, and I was too brash, and I didn’t have humility,” he said.

He continued, “I returned with an openness to learning from my mistakes and a desire to just share my voice and love of music.” When someone puts themselves out there to be scrutinized by the public, I have a great deal of respect for them.

Pop Idol judge Simon Cowell offered him a record deal when he performed well on the show, but he declined in favor of teaming up with producer Steve Lillywhite, with whom he recorded the smash hit Colourblind.

After declining Cowell’s “gracious” offer, he explained to The Guardian that he did so because he didn’t want to work on cover songs when he wanted to focus on original material.

Imagine, he quipped, “I could have done a cover of Gareth’s version of Robson and Jerome’s cover of the Righteous Brothers.” What a fantastic idea! That just doesn’t motivate me, you know.

Over the subsequent three years, Campbell Danesh had four more top 10 songs in the UK: Rushes, Incredible (What I Meant to Say), Kinda Love, and Live Twice.

A great theatre career followed; he played Billy Flynn in two productions of Chicago, stating at one point that his portrayal of the conniving lawyer was based on Cowell.

According to him, Billy Flynn is “the consummate businessman and a beautiful guy,” and he sees “a lot of Simon Cowell in Billy Flynn in terms of the way he tackles things.”

He said that it was thanks to Simon Cowell that he accepted the job, which he would play alongside America Ferrera in Ugly Betty.

“I’m really thankful for everything that’s happened to me and the doors it’s opened, including the chance to call Simon Cowell a friend and eat dinner with him,” she said.

In 2008, he portrayed Rhett Butler in the musical revival of Gone with the Wind directed by Sir Trevor Nunn and performed on the West End.

Campbell Danesh, a former pop idol turned opera star, competed in and defeated Bernie Nolan in the 2010 final of ITV’s Popstar to Operastar, in which eight pop singers learned to perform classic opera arias.

After performing a duet with tenor Rolando Villazón on the song “The Impossible Dream” on the show, he was cast in his first major opera role—that of bullfighter Escamillo in a one-time production of Carmen at London’s O2 Arena.

The star disclosed the accident, which shattered his neck, during an interview with Hello! magazine that same year. He told the magazine that after being told by nurses that he was 3 millimeters from death, he felt like “the happiest man alive.”

He married Canadian actress Natasha Henstridge in 2011, however, the couple later split up.

He also had guest starring roles on Hollyoaks and Hotel Babylon before making the transition to filmmaking and earning an executive producer credit on the 2016 Daniel Radcliffe picture Imperium.