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Tributes paid to Darius Campbell Danesh

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Tributes paid to Darius Campbell Danesh

Former Pop Idol judge Pete Waterman has led the tributes to the late Darius Campbell Danesh.

The music mogul said his friend could have been “bigger than Michael Buble”. Darius, whose death at 41 was announced yesterday, came third on ITV music series  Pop Idol in 2002 after taking part in Popstars the previous year, and famously turned down a record deal with Simon Cowell before hitting number one with his single Colourblind twenty years ago.

A statement from his family read: “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.”

Speaking to Good Morning Britain hosts Charlotte Hawkins and Rob Rinder, Pete Waterman spoke of his relationship with the singer and how they’d met up just before the pandemic.

“I met him a week before lockdown and we were talking about me going to work with him in the States to mentor him because he wanted to get back into music. Darius wanted to do too much. He had too much talent. I know that sounds silly but sometimes you have to focus on what you really really want.

“Darius could have gone on to be bigger than Michael Buble because he’d got that talent.”

On their close relationship, Pete said

“We became great friends because I did champion him. He was the most lovely person. He never called me Pete. He always called me Peter. He was so polite, and so talented. At 41, my heart goes out to his family because it’s terrible losing a sibling. He was just brilliant.

“The word gentleman is overused but not in Darius’ case. So quiet, so polite, so gentle, I guess he was the perfect person. So gentle. No cross words. He didn’t get angry.”

Charlotte asked why he turned down the record deal with Simon Cowell. Pete answered: “Because it was Darius. Darius was in charge.”

Other tributes came from Ant and Dec, who posted on social media:

“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.”

Simon Cowell noted:

“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.”

Good Morning Britain weekdays from 6am on ITV & ITV Hub

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