Pop Idol star Darius Campbell Danesh has died aged 41

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Pop Idol icon Darius Campbell Danesh has died at the age of 41.

The performer first rose to fame with an audition of Britney Spears’ Hit Me Baby One More Time on Popstars in 2001.

The next year saw Darius take part in Pop Idol where he ultimately finished in third place behind Will Young and Gareth Gates.

He went on to release two studio albums and appeared in West End shows such as Chicago, Guys and Dolls and Funny Girl.

His family announced the sad passing today (16 August), saying that Darius had been found dead in his US apartment.

A statement reads: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh.

“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 local police department have confirmed that there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances. 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.”

Numerous people have paid tribute to the musician with Pop Idol hosts Ant & Dec writing on Twitter: “We are very sorry to hear of the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh at such a tragically young age.

“We had many laughs with him on his Pop Idol journey. Our hearts go out to his lovely family. #RIP.”

Sanjeev Bhaskar shared: “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.”

And Lorraine Kelly posted: “This is really sad. Thoughts with his family and friends and everyone who loved him. A really good bloke – funny and kind and very talented.”