'Pop Idol' and stage star Darius Campbell Danesh dies at 41


Published: Wed 17 Aug 2022, 9:37 AM

Last updated: Wed 17 Aug 2022, 9:38 AM

Performer Darius Campbell Danesh, who went from a British reality television show to a stage and music career, has died at the age of 41.

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The singer's family said Tuesday that he was found unresponsive in his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota on Aug. 11 and pronounced dead by the local medical examiners’ office.

“The local police department have confirmed that there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances,” the family said. “The cause of his sudden death is unknown at this stage while medical examinations continue."

Born in Glasgow to a Scottish mother and Iranian father, Campbell Danesh appeared on reality show Popstars in 2001, making a splash with his intense interpretation of Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time.

He had more success later the same year on Pop Idol, an early Simon Cowell reality-talent show hybrid that aimed to find a new singing star. He came third behind Gareth Gates and Will Young but topped U.K. charts in 2002 with the single Colourblind, from his debut album Dive In.

Campbell Danesh went on to major roles in musicals, including West End productions of Chicago and Guys and Dolls, and starred as Rhett Butler in a musical stage adaptation of Gone With the Wind. The big-budget show opened in London in April 2008 but closed two months later after poor reviews and ticket sales.

In 2010, he won another reality show, Popstar to Operastar and afterward performed in a production of Carmen at London’s O2 Arena.

He also made a foray into Hollywood as a co-executive producer on the 2016 horror film Imperium, starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Campbell Danesh married actress Natasha Henstridge in California in 2011; they divorced a few years later.

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