Darius Campbell Danesh: Devastated Simon Cowell pays tribute to ‘charismatic’ performer after death, aged 41

·3-min read
Darius Campbell Danesh: Devastated Simon Cowell pays tribute to ‘charismatic’ performer after death, aged 41

Tributes have flooded in for the former Pop Idol contestant Darius Campbell Danesh following his death, aged 41.

The performer was found dead in his Rochester, Minnesota apartment on August 11.

His cause of death remains unknown.

Simon Cowell, who was a judge on Pop Idol when Danesh finished in third place behind Gareth Gates and Will Young in 2002, said: “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.

“His passing, for someone so young, is an absolute tragedy and my heart goes out to his family and friends.”

Darius Danesh - In pictures

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Gates posted a tribute to Instagram, calling Danesh a “dear friend”.

He wrote: “I can’t quite believe the news of my dear friend Darius passing. I’m heartbroken.“Darius took me under his wing during our time in Pop Idol, like a big brother; always looking out for me and for that I thank you my friend. I will miss our chats. He was one of the most beautiful, intelligent and gentle souls I was lucky enough to know, a soul that lit up every room.”

Liberty X singer Jessica Pietersen tweeted: “I’m so sad. Darius was only 41. He was an absolute gentleman & I know all of us who did Popstars with him will remember him with huge fondness.

“He had a way of bringing us all together & had such a natural warmth about him. Rest in peace lovely man.”

Fellow Liberty X group singer Michelle Heaton tweeted: “So sad … thoughts with Darius family right now x always our Britney.”

Danesh first rose to fame on Pop Idol’s predecessor, Popstars, on ITV in 2001, after a theatrical cover of Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time.

Myleene Klass, who also found fame on Popstars with Hear’Say, alongside the Liberty X girls and Danesh, posted a tribute throwback image of the group.

She added an opera video clip of Danesh performing Dream the Impossible Dream with Rolando Villazon on Popstars, saying: “Everyone should watch this performance. Darius, you were so talented, so kind. A true family man. My thoughts are with them now.x”

Actor and comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar responded to Sky News’ announcement, tweeting: “Sad news of Darius’ shockingly untimely passing.

“He was a guest on The Kumars and couldn’t have been a nicer, warmer guest with a great sense of self deprecation.”

Singer and fiancé to Vanessa Feltz, Ben Ofoedu, added to the tributes on Twitter: “This is so sad! R.I.P bro always a gentleman #darius”.

BBC Radio One DJ Adele Roberts tweeted: “This is so sad. Thinking of Darius’ family and friends.”

TV presenter Rylan also added: “Proper sad about Darius”, with a love heart.