Talent Recap

‘Pop Idol’ Star Darius Campbell Danesh Cause of Death Revealed

Darius Campbell attends the Chicago photocallPhoto by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

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A month after Pop Idol Darius Campbell Danesh was pronounced dead, the reason for his sudden passing has finally been revealed. The Southern Minnesota Regionals Medical Examiner’s Officer ruled his death an accident. The report cited “toxic effects of chloroethane” and “suffocation” as contributing factors.


Darius Campbell Danesh Tragically Died of Respiratory Arrest

Danesh died on August 11, 2022, exactly eight days before his 42nd birthday. At the time, the cause of his unexpected death was unclear. On September 9, the public was finally given answers. The autopsy documents revealed by the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that Danesh’s death was instigated by inhalation of chloroethane.

“The results of medical examinations have confirmed that Darius’s death was an accident caused by chloroethane, which is used to treat pain and that tragically lead to respiratory arrest,” his family’s statement read.

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Danesh was found dead in a luxury apartment located across from the Mayo Clinic’s St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. It has not been revealed whether Danesh was a patient in Mayo Clinic, or not. However, The Berkman apartment complex is recognized for short-term luxury suite accommodations for people who need easy access to Mayo’s medical services.


Chloroethane is used as a topical anaesthetic for injections and minor surgery. Commonly known as ethyl chloride, it is a drug found in gasoline additives, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Inhalations of such can lead to unpleasant effects such as dizziness, euphoria, confusion, hallucinosis, and lack of coordination.

He Eluded Two Fatal Health Conditions Prior to His Death

A statement revealed that Danesh was suffering from chronic neck pain following a car accident in 2010. In a detailed report by Metro, the pop singer was enjoying a holiday vacation in Spain when he got involved in a vehicle accident, crashing into a wall at 70 mph upon skidding on oil. This incident consequently made him suffer a broken neck.

As revealed by his nurse during that time, he could be paralyzed if the break had struck him three millimeters to one side. Shall the break occurred three millimeters to the other side, he could have not made it out alive.


The doctors recommended surgery for further remedy, but Campbell Danesh willingly refused in valid concerns that it might affect his singing voice. Eventually, he attended physiotherapy which triggered the sensation below his elbows.

The popstar dodged another death bullet when he was critically saved from a fatal coma. Danesh collapsed after accidentally drinking contaminated water from the River Thames. Consequently, he developed serious meningitis.

Fans and Celebrities Paid Tribute to the Pop Idol singer

Several singers and film stars along with fans mourned the loss and expressed their condolences to the pop star’s family. America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell is among the celebrities that celebrated the singer’s life.

“I first saw Darius on television over 20 years ago and I got to know him really well,” Pop Idol judge Simon Cowell stated. “His passing, for someone so young, is an absolute tragedy and my heart goes out to his family and friends.”

Gareth Gathes, a former Pop Idol contestant, described him as a “big brother.” He stated that Danesh was “one of the most beautiful, intelligent, and gentle souls I was lucky enough to know, a soul that lit up every room.”

His ex-wife, Canadian actress Natasha Henstridge also paid tribute through an Instagram post.

“There are no words Darius…only Love Love Love. Forever Janam,” she said.

His Legacy

The 41-year-old Scottish singer became popular in the United Kingdom after he manifested his presence in two reality music competitions, Pop Stars in 2001 and Pop Idol in 2002. He rejected Simon Cowell after the music mogul offered him to cover songs. Instead, he collaborated with Steve Lillywhite to create his debut single “Colourblind.” The same music was a music hit back in the 2000s, escalating his career until his last days.

Darius Campbell Danesh also appeared in stage productions namely “Chicago,” “Funny Girl” and “Guys and Dolls” from 2005 to 2015. In 2010, he won Popstar to Operastar, securing his first major opera role in a new production of Carmen at London’s O2 Arena.

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