Darius Campbell Danesh, who finished third on ITV talent show Pop Idol, died at the age of 41. His family said that the West End star was found unresponsive in his US apartment. The cause of death is not known. 

The Scottish singer had finished behind Will Young and Gareth Gates in Pop Idol’s 2002 season. 

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“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,” his family said in a statement. 

“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.”

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Born in Glasgow, Campbell’s first shot to fame was ITV’s Popstars in 2001. A year later, he appeared on the inaugural Pop Idol. 

Cambell then turned down a record deal from judge Simon Cowell to work with producer Steve Lillywhite. The two collaborated later on Colourbling, which reached number one in the UK. 

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In the following three years, Danesh released four more top 10 singles – Rushes, Incredible (What I Meant to Say), Kinda Love and Live Twice. He also appeared as Billy Flynn in Chicago, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls. 

Danesh credited Cowell with persuading him to take on the role of Billy Flynn. “He’s the consummate businessman and a wonderful guy,” he said.