Express & Star

Darius Campbell Danesh ‘could have been bigger than Michael Buble’ says Pete Waterman

Former Pop Idol judge Pete Waterman joined other figures from the music industry in remembering Darius Campbell Danesh, saying the singer “could have gone on to be bigger than Michael Bublé”.

Pete Waterman

Waterman, who was a friend of the Glasgow-born star who was living in the US and who would have turned 42 this week, on August 19, said: “I met him a week before lockdown and we were talking about me going to work with him in the States to mentor him because he wanted to get back into music. Darius could have gone on to be bigger than Michael Bublé because he’d got that talent.”

Speaking about their friendship, hit-making record producer Waterman, from Walsall, said: “We became great friends because I did champion him.

“He was the most lovely person. He never called me Pete. He always called me Peter.

“At 41, my heart goes out to his family because it’s terrible losing a sibling. He was just brilliant.

“The word 'gentleman' is overused but not in Darius’ case. So quiet, so polite, so gentle, I guess he was the perfect person. So gentle. No cross words. He didn’t get angry.”

The singer-songwriter and actor – who was known as Darius Danesh when he made his first bid for fame in ITV show Popstars in 2001 – also appeared on the first Pop Idol, which was won by Will Young.

After Pop Idol, Campbell Danesh turned down Simon Cowell’s offer of a record deal and signed with producer Steve Lillywhite, whose credits include U2 and the Rolling Stones. His 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 has re-entered music charts and was this week listed in the first spot on the iTunes download chart. He also forged a successful stage career, appearing in Chicago as Billy Flynn in two runs of the production, as well as Guys And Dolls, Gone With The Wind and more in the West End.

Waterman added: “He really was what you saw on television, he was just so talented, but so polite...”.

Other Pop Idol alumni remembered the star with runner-up Gareth Gates saying he was “heartbroken at the news, adding: “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.”

Music mogul Simon Cowell said the singer’s death was a “tragedy”, saying: “He was charismatic, funny and just a great person to be with.”

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