Darius Campbell Danesh, who starred in multiple West End musical productions and placed third in the U.K. talent show Pop Idol back in 2002, has died, per the BBC. He was 41.
Who is Darius Campbell Danesh from Pop Idol?
Born in Glasgow to a Scottish mother and Iranian father, Campbell Danesh was the eldest of three boys and went to Bearsden Primary School before studying English literature and philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.
He first rose to prominence on the ITV show Popstars in 2001, where he became known for his audition performance of Britney’s Baby One More Time, according to Sky News.
He later came third on the first series of Pop Idol, which was won by Will Young, and his memorable performances included renditions of Tom Jones’s hit It’s Not Unusual and Atomic Kitten’s Whole Again.
His debut single, Colourblind, was released in July 2002 and went straight to number one.
The Scottish singer-songwriter later had a successful theatre career, appearing in West End shows such as Chicago, in which he played Billy Flynn, Guys And Dolls, Gone With The Wind and Funny Girl.
Campbell Danesh starred opposite Ugly Betty star America Ferrera in the musical set in prohibition-era Chicago.
Speaking about his role as Flynn, the actor had previously said he based his portrayal of the character on his old mentor and Pop Idol judge, Simon Cowell.
How did Pop Idol star Darius die?
The police have said that there are “no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances” surrounding the Colourblind hitmaker’s death.
The full statement from Darius’ family reads: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh,” they said in a statement. “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”.
With the much-loved star passing at such a young age, many fans have been questioning the cause of death.
Why was Darius Campbell Danesh pass away?
While a cause of death was not revealed, the family explained there were “no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances” surrounding Danesh’s passing and that “the cause of his sudden death is unknown at this stage while medical examinations continue,” according to EW.
However, the former pop idol sensation faced two life-threatening health battles over the years, Express News reported.
In 2010 he revealed that he was in a car crash which resulted in a broken neck. He was a passenger in a Porsche that hit a wall at 70mph after skidding on oil during a trip to Spain.
At the time he said: “I’m so happy to be alive. I’ve definitely used up one of my nine lives.”
Darius fell into a coma five years later after contracting meningitis from drinking Thames water.
The terrifying incident occurred while he was filming a promotional video for his charity Fresh2O Water filter, which is said to remove 99.9% of all known “water-borne pathogens, bacteria and viruses” and drank water from a Thames sewage outlet.
Speaking to the Sunday Post at the time, he said: “In order to raise funds to get the water filters to Africa, we did a demonstration video down at the Thames next to a sewage outlet.
“The filters remove 99.99% of all known water-borne pathogens, bacteria and viruses.
“So I drank the water for the video and raised the funds but when I went to Glasgow to see my mum for her birthday I collapsed.
“It turned out I had a cerebral oedema where your brain swells bigger than your skull.
“My dad saved my life. He got me to hospital, they diagnosed it quickly. I had bacterial meningitis.
“I had picked up an inflammatory virus from the Thames that had stayed in my system.
“It knocked my white blood cell count out for months and had left my immunity low so that I could have picked up anything going around.
“I had been flying a lot and picked up bacterial meningitis which at that time was on the rise.”
The incident occurred in 2015, and his mother, Avril Danesh, was undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy for breast cancer at the time.
He said: “As I came out of the coma I remember my mum sitting beside the bed.
“Yet she was sat next to me with tears in her eyes telling my brother that they almost lost me.”