Former Pop Idol contestant Darius Campbell Danesh has been found dead in his apartment in the United States, his family announced.
The singer appeared on the talent show in 2003, finishing third behind Will Young and Gareth Gates, who both went on to achieve great success.
In a statement his family said: “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."
Following his success on Pop Idol, Darius released his debut single “colourblind” in 2002, with the song entering the UK singles chart at number one, staying at the top for two weeks and was certified silver.
Around two years later, Campbell released his debut album ‘Dive In’ which peaked at number six on the UK charts, and went on to record five UK top ten singles as well as two gold albums.
The singer also starred on the West End, playing the role of Billy Flynn in Chicago, as well as playing the lead role of Sky Masterson in the Olivier-award winning musical ‘Guys and Dolls’.
The Glasgow-born singer also portrayed the role of Rhett Butler in the theatrical version of ‘Gone With The Wind’, which is one of the highest grossing movies of all time.
Tributes paid to Pop Idol and West End star Darius Campbell Danesh
Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts tweeted: “This is so sad. Thinking of Darius’ family and friends.”
Rylan Clark-Neal said: “Proper sad about Darius.”
BBC and ITV News journalist Duncan Golestani said: “I know the Pop Idol clips are irresistible but Darius had a great career on stage over two decades. He was a really talented performer.”
Actor and comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar said: “Sad news of Darius’ shockingly untimely passing. He was a guest on The Kumars and couldn’t have been a nicer, warmer guest with a great sense of self deprecation.”
Actor Matthew Marsden tweeted: “This is truly heartbreaking. I first met Darius when he auditioned for the Big Breakfast weather man years ago. He was a terrific human being. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”