Escape to the Country star Nicki Chapman pays emotional tribute to Darius Danesh 

Simon Cowell has also paid tribute 

Nicki Chapman, who was one of the judges who discovered Darius Danesh on the hit show Popstars back in 2002, has issued an emotional statement following the sad news of his passing aged 41. 

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Taking to Twitter, she wrote: "There will only ever be one Darius Campbell Danesh. A true gent with a kind soul & mischievous twinkle in his eye. From that eventful first audition on Popstars to him kindly inviting me to see him perform on the West End stage. Thoughts are with his family at this sad time." 

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She was joined by Simon Cowell, who also paid tribute to the late star, telling Mail Online: "I first saw Darius on television over 20 years ago and I got to know him really well. He was charismatic, funny and just a great person to be with. His passing, for someone so young, is an absolute tragedy and my heart goes out to his family and friends." 

Darius very sadly passed away aged 41

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His family confirmed the news on Tuesday with a statement that read: "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 examiner's office. 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."

Nicki also judged Pop Idol alongside Simon Cowell

It added that the local police department has confirmed that there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances and the cause of his sudden death is unknown at this stage.

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