Natasha Henstridge and Simon Cowell have paid tribute to late singer and reality TV star Darius Campbell Danesh.
The Pop Idol star’s family announced on Tuesday that the 41-year-old was found unresponsive in his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota on 11 August and pronounced dead later that day. The cause of his sudden death is currently unknown, but local police confirmed there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances.
The singer’s ex-wife, Canadian actress Natasha, reacted to the news by sharing snaps of their time together in a since-deleted Instagram post.
Natasha, who was married to Darius between 2011 and 2018, wrote in the caption, “‘I have found the paradox that if you love until it hurts there can be no more hurt – only more love’ – Mother Theresa. There are no words Darius… only Love Love Love. Forever Janam.”
The Scottish star rose to fame in 2001 with an appearance on the singing competition Popstars, for which he’ll always be remembered for his alternative version of Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time. The following year, he appeared on the first series of Pop Idol and finished third behind Will Young and Gareth Gates.
In a statement to the PA news agency, Pop Idol judge Simon 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.”
Meanwhile, Gareth told his Instagram followers he was “heartbroken” by the death of his “dear friend”.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
After Pop Idol, Darius reached number one on the U.K. charts with his debut single Colourblind. He released two albums in the early 2000s and went on to become a musical theatre performer, appearing in productions such as Chicago, Guys and Dolls and Funny Girl.