Simon Cowell speaks out following Darius Campbell Danesh's tragic death
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Simon Cowell has paid tribute to Pop Idol contestant Darius Campbell Danesh after he was found dead at the age of 41.
The Scottish singer rose to fame on the talent show Popstars in 2001 and later Pop Idol in 2002, where he finished in third place behind Gareth Gates and Will Young.
Now, former Pop Idol judge Simon Cowell has remembered the singer who he first met over two decades ago.
Cowell, 62, said in a statement: "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."
Cowell was just one of the many famous faces to speak out after Darius's death was announced yesterday (16 August).
Liberty X singer and former Popstars competitor Jessica Pietersen wrote: "I'm so sad. Darius was only 41.
"He was an absolute gentleman & I know all of us who did Popstars with him will remember him with huge fondness. He had a way of bringing us all together & had such a natural warmth about him. Rest in peace lovely man."
I’m so sad. Darius was only 41. He was an absolute gentleman & I know all of us who did Popstars with him will remember him with huge fondness. He had a way of bringing us all together & had such a natural warmth about him. Rest in peace lovely man ♥️— Jessica Pietersen (@JessicaLibertyX) August 16, 2022
Pop Idol runner up Gareth Gates said that he was 'heartbroken' about the news.
He posted a photograph of himself and Darius to Instagram, writing: "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 hank 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."
West End actress and singer Carrie Hope Fletcher wrote: "This is such sad news."
Darius had a successful career both as a recording artist and later as a West End star, with his two studio albums reaching the top 40 in the UK album charts.
He also had a UK number one with his debut single 'Colourblind' back in 2002.
The singer's death was announced by his family, who said that he was found unresponsive in his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota, on 11 August.
His cause of death is not yet known.