Darius Campbell Danesh, a singer and West End actor known for reaching the runner-up position Pop Idol and other ITV talent competition appearances, has died in his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota.

According to his family, Danesh “was found unresponsive in his bed … and was pronounced dead in the afternoon by the medical examiner’s office.” They also clarified that his cause of death is currently unknown, and requested privacy in the wake of their loss.

The Scottish singer first gained notoriety in 2001 when he sang a very theatrical rendition of Hit Me Baby One More Time for his Pop Stars audition. He later appeared in the first season of Pop Idol, which would be retooled to become American Idol, and made it to third place.

Danesh also appeared in many stagings of classic musicals on London’s West End including Funny Girl, Guys And Dolls and Chicago.

He followed up his talent show appearances with several charting singles like Colourblind as well as the full-length albums Dive In and Live Twice.

He wouldn’t release any more music after Live Twice, but continued acting in musicals and the odd TV series and even won the talent show Popstar to Operastar out of eight hopefuls in 2010.

He was involved in several charities including Guitar Aid, Cancer Research UK and was an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, which serves underprivileged youth.


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