Will Young has paid tribute to his fellow Pop Idol finalist Darius Campbell Danesh, following his sad death last week at the age of 41.
The singer, who became the first ever winner of the pop competition in 2002, appeared in the Pop Idol final alongside Darius and Gareth Gates.
Sharing a throwback photo of the pair together, Will wrote: “For the past few days my thoughts have been with Darius's family and will continue to be so.
“I found this picture a while ago taken during Pop Idol. If there was ever an example of not giving up on your dreams then Darius is top of the pile.
“Driven, courageous and gentle. My love goes to his family at this time x”
It comes after Darius' other Pop Idol co-star Gareth Gates also left a heartfelt tribute to the late singer, calling him a "big brother".
"I can't quite believe the news of my dear friend Darius passing. I'm heartbroken. 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," said Gareth.
"I will miss our chats. He was one of the most beautiful, intelligent and gentle souls I was lucky enough to know, a soul that lit up every room. Goodbye, my friend. Forever in my heart," he continued.
Darius’ family confirmed the singer’s death in a statement released on Tuesday 16 August.
The singer and actor was found in Rochester, Minnesota, on 11 August – although the cause of death remains unknown.
A statement 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 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.”
After coming third in Pop Idol, he went on to win the first series of ITV’s Popstar To Operastar contest, beating Bernie Nolan of the Nolan Sisters in a close final.
He also went on to forge 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.
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Darius Danesh's life after Pop Idol from West End stardom to Hollywood
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