Pop Idol star and 'Colourblind' singer Darius Campbell has died, aged 41

16 August 2022, 16:40 | Updated: 16 August 2022, 16:58

Darius Danesh in 2018
Darius Danesh in 2018. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Singer and actor Darius Campbell, who found fame on ITV talent shows Popstars and Pop Idol, has died at the age of 41.

After becoming an overnight star in Popstars in 2000, he returned a year later in Pop Idol, and eventually finished in third place behind Will Young and Gareth Gates.

It was announced today (August 16) that he was found unresponsive in his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota. The cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh," his family 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.

"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.

Darius Campbell - Colourblind

"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."

The Scottish singer first found fame after his cover of Britney Spears' 'Baby One More Time' on Popstars, and for his "so much love in the room" positive persona.

He went on to have several hit singles, including the 2002 UK number one 'Colourblind'. His other hits included 'Rushes' and 'Incredible'.

Darius became a West End star, appearing in musicals like Chicago and Guys and Dolls.

He was born in Glasgow in 1980 to a Scottish mother and an Iranian father, and was known professionally as Darius Danesh.

After being cruelly lambasted as a joke figure on Popstars, he emerged on Pop Idol without his trademark ponytail and beard, and achieved one of music's most impressive comebacks.

Having won legions of fans, he turned down a record deal from judge Simon Cowell in order to work with producer Steve Lillywhite.

In 2010, he trained with tenor Rolando Villazón, and won the ITV competition Popstar to Operastar. He went on to make his operatic debut at The O2 arena with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, in Carmen.

Darius married Canadian actress Natasha Henstridge in 2011. They filed for divorce in 2013, which was finalised in 2018.