Waterman, who was a friend of the Glasgow-born star who lived in the US and who would have turned 42 this week on August 19, said: ‘I met him a week before the lockdown and we were talking about me going to work with him in the United States to guide him because he wanted to get back into music. Darius could have become bigger than Michael Bublé because he had that talent.
Speaking of their friendship, successful record producer Waterman, from Walsall, said: ‘We became great friends because I stood up for him.
“He was the most charming person. He never called me Pete. He always called me Pierre.
“At 41, my heart goes out to his family because it’s terrible to lose a sibling. He was just brilliant.
“The word ‘gentleman’ is overused but not in the case of Darius. So calm, so polite, so gentle, I guess he was the perfect person. So soft. No crosswords. He didn’t get angry. »
The singer-songwriter and actor – who was known as Darius Danesh when he made his first bid for fame on the ITV Popstars show in 2001 – also appeared on the first Pop Idol, which was was won by Will Young.
After Pop Idol, Campbell Danesh turned down Simon Cowell’s offer of a recording contract and signed with producer Steve Lillywhite, whose credits include U2 and the Rolling Stones. Her first single, Colourblind, was released in July 2002 and went straight to number one, marking the start of a streak of top 10 releases.
After his death, the song re-entered the music charts and was this week number one on the iTunes downloads chart. He also forged a successful career on stage, appearing in Chicago as Billy Flynn in two series of the production, as well as Guys And Dolls, Gone with the Wind and more in the West End.
Waterman added: “He was really what you saw on TV, he was so talented, but so polite…”.
Other Pop Idol alums recalled the star with runner-up Gareth Gates saying he was ‘heartbroken at the news, adding,’ Darius took me under his wing during our time at Pop Idol, like a big brother; always watch over me and for that I thank you my friend.
Music mogul Simon Cowell called the singer’s death a “tragedy”, saying: “He was charismatic, funny and just a great person to be with.”