Exclusive:Darius Campbell Danesh: Family release new statement on singer's death in US following completion of Rochester Police report

The singer’s death was ruled to be a tragic accident

The family of Scottish singer and actor Darius Campbell Danesh have revealed fresh details of his death at the age of 41 as a police investigation in the US concludes.

Campbell, who shot to fame under the name Darius Danesh in ITV show Popstars in 2001, was found dead in his apartment, in Rochester, Minnesota, in August last year.

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The toxic effects of the drug chloroethane, which he was using to treat chronic neck pain following a car accident in 2010, as well as “suffocation” were previously listed as having contributed to his death. The death was ruled an accident by the medical examiner.

Following an update from Rochester police, his family today released a fresh statement to The Scotsman: “The Rochester Police Department have finalised their report following Darius’ death. It gives us great sadness to share further information on the passing of our loving son and brother.

"In the days leading up to his death, Darius had been suffering from severe nerve pain in his neck following car accidents in 2010 and 2021, which was progressively ‘getting worse’. He had taken pain medication, marijuana and chloroethane to manage the intensity of the pain prior to his death.

“The night before Darius passed, he had dinner with close friends, who reported that ‘Darius was in a lot of pain, but he was in good spirits when he was with us’. They stayed together until the early hours of the morning and made plans to meet the following day. When Darius did not show up and could not be reached, the hotel staff were asked to check on him.

"Around 11.50am on 11th August, Darius was found unresponsive in bed by the hotel staff in the apartment where he was staying, having inhaled chloroethane using a bag, which led to respiratory arrest. The Rochester Fire and Police Department pronounced Darius deceased shortly after at 12.01pm. The autopsy report also concluded that Darius’ heart was twice the expected size.

"This may have contributed to his respiratory arrest.”

The family added his death was determined to be a tragic accident and the police maintained that there were no suspicious circumstances.

“Friends who were with him in the days before he passed reported that while he ‘appeared to be struggling with the neck pain’ and taking medication to deal with his pain, he ‘appeared happy’ and was looking forward to the future with his usual zest for life.

“We will always remember Darius for his open-hearted warmth, generosity of spirit and the way he touched so many people’s hearts and minds. He was an incredibly loving, caring and supportive son, brother and friend. His spirit of love and light is still with us all.

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"We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and kindness in what has been a very difficult year. We kindly ask that the family’s privacy is maintained as we continue with the healing process.”

Following his death, fellow Pop Idol contestants Will Young and Gareth Gates paid tribute to him, describing him as “driven, courageous and gentle”.

Music mogul Simon Cowell, who Campbell turned down for a record deal after his time on the talent show, also paid tribute, as did his close friend, Hollywood actor Gerard Butler.

In his own tribute to Campbell, Butler wrote that he had a “barely containable zest for life”.

“To those lucky enough to have met Darius for more than a few minutes, they were deeply moved by his infectious laugh and barely containable zest for life,” he wrote at the time.

“He was always armed with a smile, a booming voice, and a genuinely warm embrace that few could resist-nor would they want to!

“He was an incredible talent, a singer whose voice touched your soul and an actor with great presence.”

Campbell’s debut single, Colourblind, was released in July 2002 and went straight to number one, marking the start of a run of top 10 releases. Following his death the song re-entered music charts and several days later took the top spot on the iTunes download chart.

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