Darius Campbell Danesh’s family has revealed new details into his tragic death last year. The Scottish Pop Idol star died at the age of 41 in August 2022 after he was found unresponsive in his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota.
At the time, his death was attributed to the harmful effects of chloroethane, a drug he had been using to treat chronic pain stemming from a car accident in 2010. Additionally, “suffocation” was cited as a contributing factor and the medical examiner categorised the incident as an accident.
And now, his family has issued a statement to The Scotsman, shedding further light on the circumstances surrounding their beloved son and brother’s death.
The family said: "In the days leading up to his death, Darius had been suffering from severe nerve pain in his neck following car accidents in 2010 and 2021, which was progressively ‘getting worse’. He had taken pain medication, marijuana and chloroethane to manage the intensity of the pain prior to his death.
“The night before Darius passed, he had dinner with close friends, who reported that ‘Darius was in a lot of pain, but he was in good spirits when he was with us’. They stayed together until the early hours of the morning and made plans to meet the following day. When Darius did not show up and could not be reached, the hotel staff were asked to check on him.
"Around 11.50am on 11th August, Darius was found unresponsive in bed by the hotel staff in the apartment where he was staying, having inhaled chloroethane using a bag, which led to respiratory arrest.
The Rochester Fire and Police Department pronounced Darius deceased shortly after at 12.01pm. The autopsy report also concluded that Darius’ heart was twice the expected size. This may have contributed to his respiratory arrest.”
The family added his death was determined to be a tragic accident and the police maintained that there were no suspicious circumstances.
The family added: “Friends who were with him in the days before he passed reported that while he ‘appeared to be struggling with the neck pain’ and taking medication to deal with his pain, he ‘appeared happy’ and was looking forward to the future with his usual zest for life.
“We will always remember Darius for his open-hearted warmth, generosity of spirit and the way he touched so many people’s hearts and minds. He was an incredibly loving, caring and supportive son, brother and friend. His spirit of love and light is still with us all.
"We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and kindness in what has been a very difficult year. We kindly ask that the family’s privacy is maintained as we continue with the healing process.”
Following his death, fellow Pop Idol contestants Will Young and Gareth Gates paid tribute to him, describing him as “driven, courageous and gentle”. Music mogul Simon Cowell, who Campbell turned down for a record deal after his time on the talent show, also paid tribute, as did his close friend, Hollywood actor Gerard Butler.
Cambell Danesh’s first single Colourblind, released in July 2002, went straight to number one, and stayed there for two weeks. His debut album Dive In was certified platinum, and he subsequently had five top 10 singles, and a second album certified gold.