Darius Campbell Danesh could have been bigger than Michael Buble – but was too nice, says Pop Idol’s Pete Waterman | The Sun

DARIUS Campbell Danesh was talented enough to be bigger than Michael Buble, Pop Idol judge Pete Waterman has claimed.

Singer Darius was found dead at his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota on August 11.

Paying tribute to his friend on today's Good Morning Britain, legendary music producer Pete said: "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 want, and he'd been investing, he was doing this amazing film in Hollywood. Darius could have gone on to be bigger than Michael Buble. He's got that talent."

Pete revealed he had spoken to Darius weeks before his death about potentially reviving his music career after years spent working in theatre and film.

But the talent show judge admitted he valued their friendship too much to risk jeopardising it through the stresses of work.

He continued: "The word gentleman is overused but not in Darius's case. He was the perfect person, so gentle, no cross words, he didn't get angry.

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"What if Darius had done a Michael Buble instead of going into Funny Girl? All the great ifs in life. What if Darius had made that decision. He was probably too nice to make that decision because he might have upset somebody."

Darius's number one hit Colourblind has rocketed back into the chart following his death which Pete said he "would have loved", adding: "He was so proud of Colourblind."

Yesterday police confirmed that there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances surrounding Darius's death.

The Scottish star splashed onto the showbiz scene with his memorable rendition of Britney Spears' Baby One More Time for his audition on the talent show Popstars in 2001.

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He later had more success the same year on Pop Idol, coming third behind Gareth Gates and Will Young.

Darius then topped UK charts in 2002 with the single Colourblind, from his debut album Dive In.

The star went on to major roles in musicals, including West End productions of Chicago and Guys and Dolls, and starred as Rhett Butler in a musical stage adaptation of Gone With the Wind.

In 2010, he won another reality show, Popstar to Operastar and afterward performed in a production of Carmen at Londons O2 Arena.

He previously escaped death twice after being involved in a car crash in Spain and slipping into a coma after he contracted meningitis when he drank water from the Thames.

His heartbroken family yesterday 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.

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"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."

Photographers had captured the final photo of the performer back in June, when he was spotted heading to the beach in Malibu with Gerard Butler.

It was one of the rare sightings for the singer who had stepped out of the limelight – with one of his last roles reportedly as Nick Arnstein in Funny Girl at the Savoy Theatre in the West End.

The singer had lived a colourful life including a string of famous romances with women in Hollywood to Strictly.

Popstar Gareth Gates – who competed alongside Darius on Pop idol in 2001 – described him as a "big brother" in an emotional tribute.

He said: "I can’t quite believe the news of my dear friend Darius passing. I’m heartbroken.

"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.

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"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.

"Goodbye my friend. For ever in my heart."

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