Darius Campbell Danesh's family say pop star had dinner with friends before he died but was suffering ‘severe nerve pain'

11 September 2023, 17:13 | Updated: 11 September 2023, 17:43

Darius Danesh
Darius Danesh. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Pop Idol star Darius Campbell Danesh was suffering from intense pain before his death, but managed to have dinner with his friends, his family said.

The Colourblind singer died suddenly of respiratory arrest in his Minnesota apartment on August 11 2022.

Danesh had been living with an undiagnosed heart condition - as well as a broken neck which he suffered a 2010 car accident which left him with excruciating pain.

He had been managing his pain with marijuana, painkillers and an anaesthetic drug called chloroethane.

The autopsy report revealed the popstar's heart was twice the size it should have been at the time of his death.

His family said in a statement: "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'.

Darius Campbell Danesh
Darius Campbell Danesh. Picture: Alamy

"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.

Darius Campbell Danesh
Darius Campbell Danesh. Picture: Alamy

"Around 11.50am on August 11, 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".

Darius Danesh
Darius Danesh. Picture: Instagram / Lauren Cheek

Danesh came just three millimetres from death after being involved in a 70mph crash in 2010, which saw his Porche written off and Danesh label himself the "luckiest man alive".

The crash saw Danesh suffer what the singer described as a "trauma compression injury" injury similar to that suffered by Superman actor Christopher Reeve, who was left paralysed following a riding accident.

He turned down an operation to relieve the symptoms in 2010 because he feared it may permanently damage his voice.

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The 'Colourblind' singer and Pop Idol alumni rose to fame after competing in the 2002 vocal competition.
The 'Colourblind' singer and Pop Idol alumni rose to fame after competing in the 2002 vocal competition. Picture: LBC / Alamy

Danesh, originally from Glasgow, became a household name following his appearance on the televised singing competition, with his striking rendition of Britney Spears' breakout track 'Hit Me Baby One More Time' catching audiences attention.

Rochester Police Department said it responded to a "deceased person call" at 11.53am on August 11 at The Berkman.

It added the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office identified the person as Danesh.

According to autopsy documents from the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office, "toxic effects of Chloroethane" were listed as his cause of death, alongside "suffocation" as a contributing factor.

A statement previously released by Campbell's family previously said local police had found 'no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances'.