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Pete Waterman pays tribute to Darius Danesh as he reveals they were planning to work together

‘He was the perfect person’: Pete Waterman pays tribute to Darius Danesh as he reveals they planned to work together for the star’s return before his death

  • Singer found dead in Rochester, Minnesota, on August 11 – though cause of death is unknown
  • Darius rose to fame in 2001 with his quirky rendition of Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time on Popstars
  • Didn’t get into the band, but the following year he finished third on Pop Idol, where he met Waterman, who was a judge
  • He later moved on to theater roles and appeared in West End shows such as Chicago, Guys and Dolls and Funny Girl
  • He was married to actress Natasha Henstridge from 2011-2018, whose films include the sci-fi hit Species. contain

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Music producer and former Pop Idol judge Peter Waterman has paid tribute to his friend Darius Danesh.

The Pop Idol singer was found dead in his Rochester, Minnesota apartment on August 11 at the age of 41 as police investigate his mysterious death.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Pete described Darius as “the perfect person” as he revealed they had recently been in touch and planned to work together for the star’s return to music.

Friends: Music producer and former Pop Idol judge Peter Waterman has paid tribute to his friend Darius Danesh

Friends: Music producer and former Pop Idol judge Peter Waterman has paid tribute to his friend Darius Danesh

“He was an amazing talent – we became good friends as I defended him when he was on Pop Idol,” Pete, who first met the singer on the ITV reality show, explained to GMB presenters Charlotte Hawkins and Rob Rinder.

“He was the sweetest person. He never called me Pete. He always called me Peter. He was so polite and so talented.’

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

“The word lord is overused, but not in the case of Darius. So quiet, so polite, so gentle, I think he was the perfect person. So tender. No crosswords. He didn’t get angry.’

The famed producer added that he and Darius met and discussed working together a week before the 2020 Covid lockdown.

Loss: During a speech on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Pete described Darius as 'the perfect person' when he revealed they had recently been in touch and planned to work together

Loss: During a speech on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Pete described Darius as 'the perfect person' when he revealed they had recently been in touch and planned to work together

Loss: During a speech on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Pete described Darius as ‘the perfect person’ when he revealed they had recently been in touch and planned to work together

Music return: The famed producer added that he and Darius met and discussed working together a week before the 2020 Covid lockdown

Music return: The famed producer added that he and Darius met and discussed working together a week before the 2020 Covid lockdown

Music return: The famed producer added that he and Darius met and discussed working together a week before the 2020 Covid lockdown

“We talked about me going to work with him in the United States to mentor him because he wanted to make music again.”

“Darius wanted to do too much. He had too much talent. Darius could have been bigger than Michael Bublé.’

“I know it sounds stupid, but sometimes you have to focus on what you really want.

Where it started: The 2002 stars of Pop Idol including Simon (back row, center) Will Young, Gareth Gates (white suit, center), and Darius (rightmost) with Pete pictured in the center

Where it started: The 2002 stars of Pop Idol including Simon (back row, center) Will Young, Gareth Gates (white suit, center), and Darius (rightmost) with Pete pictured in the center

Where it started: The 2002 stars of Pop Idol including Simon (back row, center) Will Young, Gareth Gates (white suit, center), and Darius (rightmost) with Pete pictured in the center

Pete first met Darius through his role as a judge on Pop Idol in 2002. Darius finished third on the ITV show behind household names Will Young and Gareth Gates.

“He knew he couldn’t win Pop Idol, but he knew he would finish in the top three and that’s what he wanted.”

After Pop Idol, Darius famously turned down Simon Cowell’s offer for a record deal and signed with producer Steve Lillywhite, whose credits include U2 and the Rolling Stones.

Tribute: Gareth Gates led tribute to his 'big brother' Darius after he was found dead in his apartment at age 41

Tribute: Gareth Gates led tribute to his 'big brother' Darius after he was found dead in his apartment at age 41

Tribute: Gareth Gates led tribute to his ‘big brother’ Darius after he was found dead in his apartment at age 41

His debut single, Colourblind, was released in July 2002 and went straight to number one, beginning a string of top 10 releases.

Pete commented that it was “the icing on the cake” when Darius turned down Pop Idol boss Cowell, “as Darius was in charge — that was his problem, because he couldn’t be controlled. Sometimes you have to take a step back and let people help.’

“He was so proud of Colorblind – he’d be so happy if it was number one again.”

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