A Scottish vocal sensation who wowed viewers and judges alike on Britain’s talent showcase “Pop Idol” is dead at the age of 41, Variety reported.
Darius Campbell Danesh was remembered fondly by none other than Simon Cowell, who recalled how he first befriended the young talent.
“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,” Cowell told The Post. “His passing, for someone so young, is an absolute tragedy and my heart goes out to his family and friends.”
Danesh, who belted tunes such as Brittany Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” and Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual” on his way to becoming an overseas sensation in the early 2000s, was found dead in his Rochester, Minnesota, apartment last Thursday, according to a statement from his family to BBC.
Their announcement included details of Danesh’s “sudden” passing.
“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 statement read.
“The local police department have confirmed that there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances,” it continued. “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.”
Danesh first orbited toward stardom thanks to his rendition of the Spears hit in 2001 as a cast member on reality show “Popstars.” Soon after, he auditioned for “Pop Idol” — the precursor to “American Idol” — and became one of the final three contestants.
The year following, he inked a deal with Mercury Records and released two solo albums — “Dive in” and “Live Twice” — from 2002 to 2004. Danesh’s debut single “Colourblind” topped the UK singles chart for two weeks in July 2002.
Later in life he also starred in many British Broadway West End productions, including as Billy Flynn in “Chicago,” Sky Masterson in “Guys and Dolls” and Rhett Butler in “Gone With the Wind.”