Simon Cowell has paid tribute to Darius Campbell Danesh following his shock death, aged 41.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Pop Idol star’s family said the Scot had been found unresponsive in his Minnesota home and was confirmed to have died later that day.
Cowell, who got to know Danesh after he rose to fame following stints on both Popstars and Pop Idol, described his death as an ‘absolute tragedy’ in a statement via the press.
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He 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’ family said in their statement yesterday: “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 examiner’s office.
“The local police department has 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.”
The singer-songwriter and actor – who was known as Darius Danesh when he first appeared on ITV’s Popstars in 2001 – also appeared on the first edition of Pop Idol, which was later won by Will Young.
Gareth Gates, who found fame after finishing as a runner-up in that first series, also paid tribute in a touching Instagram post.
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.
“Goodbye my friend. Forever in my heart x.”
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