OLMSTED COUNTY, MN. (THECOUNT) — Darius Danesh, singer and actor who rose to fame on Popstars and Pop Idol, was found dead in his Olmsted County, Minnesota residence. He was 41.

Danesh, originally from Bearsden, Dunbartonshire and the former husband of “Species” actress, Natasha Henstridge, was found unresponsive in his Rochester home August 11.


Danesh lived in the US, where he met Henstridge.

The couple married in 2011, before separating two years later. Their divorce was finalised in 2018.

A statement from the Scottish star’s 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 11 August and was pronounced dead in the afternoon by the local medical examiners’ office.”

The statement said that the local police department confirmed there were no suspicions of foul play, adding:

“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.”

Danesh first earned fans for his theatrical cover of Britney Spears “Baby One More Time” on 2001 talent show Popstars .

In 2002, Danesh came third on Pop Idol behind Will Young and Gareth Gates. His memorable moments on the show include his renditions of Tom Jones’s hit “It’s Not Unusual” and Atomic Kitten “Whole Again”. The final was watched by more than 13 million viewers, according to Newsbreak.

Having turned down a record deal from judge Simon Cowell, Danesh nevertheless reached number one in the UK later that year with his track “Colourblind”. His album Dive In reached the top 10.

Danesh also went on to win the first series of ITV’s Popstar to Operastar contest, beating Bernie Nolan of the Nolan Sisters in a tight final.

Following that win, he landed his first major opera role as Escamillo in a new production of Carmen at London’s O2 Arena.

He became a West End star, appearing in musicals such as Chicago and the Olivier Award-winning Guys and Dolls.

Danesh said he based his portrayal of Chicago ’s scheming lawyer Billy Flynn on his old mentor and Pop Idol judge, Cowell.

Campbell starred opposite Ugly Betty star America Ferrera in the musical set in prohibition-era Chicago, and said: “He’s the consummate businessman and a wonderful guy and there’s a lot of Simon Cowell in Billy Flynn in terms of the way he approaches things.”

In his 2008 review of the London production of Gone With the Wind for The Independent , Paul Taylor wrote of Danesh’s performance as Rhett Butler: “The diabolically dashing Darius Danesh brings a seductively insolent charm, a dark velvet voice and a genuine, fugitive pathos to the cynical blockade runner.”

Darius spoke out about his divorce to Henstridge in 2017:

“I felt a great sense of loss with the divorce and I went through a grieving period. You see, you don’t break up with one person, you break up with three. And in some ways, it’s like a death.