The family of former Pop Idol star Darius Campbell Danesh has said that he was “suffering from chronic neck pain following a car accident in 2010”, as they thanked everyone for their “love and kindness” following his death.
The singer and actor was found dead in his US apartment, in Rochester, Minnesota, last month at the age of 41.
He died from “inhalation of chloroethane”, the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed, with his death ruled an accident by the medical examiner.
Post-mortem examination documents obtained by the PA news agency listed “toxic effects of chloroethane” as well as “suffocation” as having contributed to his death.
A statement from his family to the PA news agency said: “The results of medical examinations have confirmed that Darius’s death was an accident caused by chloroethane, which is used to treat pain and that tragically lead to respiratory arrest.
“Darius was suffering from chronic neck pain following a car accident in 2010.
“We would like to thank everyone for their love and kindness, and ask that the family’s privacy is maintained during this difficult time”.
In 2010, Danesh Campbell spoke to Hello! magazine about the car crash 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 holiday in Spain.
The Scottish singer-songwriter and actor – who was known as Darius Danesh when he made his first bid for fame in ITV show Popstars in 2001 – also appeared on the first Pop Idol, which was won by Will Young.
Fellow Pop Idol contestants Will Young and Gareth Gates paid tribute to him following his death, describing him as “driven, courageous and gentle”.
Music mogul Simon Cowell, who Danesh Campbell turned down for a record deal after his time on the talent show, also paid tribute to the singer, as did Hollywood actor Gerard Butler.
The pair were close friends and were pictured together in Malibu shortly before the singer’s death.
In his own tribute to Campbell Danesh, Butler wrote that he had a “barely containable zest for life” and the “heart of a lion”.
“To those lucky enough to have met Darius for more than a few minutes, they were deeply moved by his infectious laugh and barely containable zest for life,” he wrote.
“He was always armed with a smile, a booming voice, and a genuinely warm embrace that few could resist-nor would they want to!
“He was an incredible talent, a singer whose voice touched your soul and an actor with great presence.
“But, most importantly, he had the heart of a lion. It was bigger and brighter than the sun and an energy so contagious he could light up a room in seconds.”
Campbell Danesh’s debut single, Colourblind, was released in July 2002 and went straight to number one, marking the start of a run of top 10 releases.
Following his death the song re-entered music charts and several days later took the top spot on the iTunes download chart.
Campbell Danesh’s family said in a statement in August that he 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”.
They added that local police had found “no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances”.