Last picture of Darius seen with friend Gerard Butler in before tragic death age 41

Darius Campbell Danesh was seen with his Hollywood pal and fellow Scotsman Gerard Butler in a final photo taken just weeks before his tragic death.

The former Pop Idol star was found dead in his Minnesota apartment on August 11, with his family finally sharing the heartbreaking news in a statement on Tuesday evening. No cause of death has yet been revealed.

In a final photo taken just weeks before the acclaimed actor, singer and producer died, the star was seen living life to the full alongside his showbiz pal, as they enjoyed a day out at the beach, near to Gerard’s Malibu home.

Wearing a blue flat cap and rolled up khaki trousers, Darius could be seen walking barefoot behind Gerard as they walked a dog together on June 11.

Carrying a pair of boots in hand, the star appeared to be perfectly relaxed as he enjoyed the day out with his friend, who himself was dressed casually for the occasion in a light blue polo shirt and grey jeans.

In an emotional statement on Tuesday evening, his family wrote: "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. 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."

Devastated fans immediately raced to social media to pay tribute to the star, with one writing: "I'm sorry but what in the name f*** is this?! Gutted, absolutely f***ing gutted."

While another commented: "Sad news this afternoon that Darius has passed away. Just heard this on @1025Clyde1 with @garry__spence Love to all his family x."

A third wrote: "Iconic. Colourblind was and still is a tune! RIP #darius #dariusdanesh."

A number of famous faces also paid tribute to the fallen star, including Nicki Chapman, the first of the Popstars judges to share their heartbreak over his death. She wrote: ”There will only ever be one Darius Campbell Danesh.

"A true gent with a kind soul & mischievous tinkle in his eye. From that eventful first audition on Popstars to him kindly inviting me to see him perform on the West End stage.

The sentiment was also echoed by X-factor alumni Rylan Clark, who tweeted: "Proper sad about Darius."

West End star Carrie Hope Fletcher also commented: "This is such sad news” with a broken heart emoji.

Darius first shot to fame on the 2001 series Popstars, before coming third on Pop Idol, behind Will Young and Gareth Gates just one year later in 2002.

The star even famously turned down a record deal from music mogul Simon Cowell in order to work on Colourblind himself as a music producer.

The track went on to become a UK number one and his album Dive In also ranked in the Top 10.

Alongside his music, Darius also had a successful career as a film producer, working on the Daniel Radcliffe horror flick Imperium in 2016, then Tomorrow in 2018.

He also produced a documentary in 2018 called Fountain of Youth and then worked as an executive producer on the film House Red in 2019.

READ MORE:

  • Where are Pop Idol's series one stars now – from school jobs to West End stage
  • Pop Idol 'to make return to screens after 20 years with early stage ITV talks'
  • Darius Danesh's Pop Idol rival Gareth Gates pay tribute to 'big brother' after his death

  • Darius Danesh's incredible Pop Idol stint – from audition to snubbing Simon Cowell's offer

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