Darius Campbell Danesh’s girlfriend has shared what she says was the singer’s cause of death.

The Scottish Pop Idol star was declared dead aged 41 after being found unresponsive in a hotel in Minnesota in August 2022, with reports at the time saying he died from “inhalation of chloroethane”.

Danesh’s autopsy documents noted “toxic effects of chloroethane” as well as “suffocation” as having led to his death, which was ruled an accident.

However, the singer’s girlfriend, Lauren Cheek, has said he had an undetected heart issue.

She said his heart had swelled to twice its normal size, telling The Sun: “Darius was living with this heart condition that he didn’t know he had.”

Cheek said: “His mum told me they only found out after they did the autopsy. His heart was twice the size it was supposed to be, which was fitting, because that is genuinely how he was – he had so much love.”

She added: “That’s what killed him – the substance mixed with his heart and he couldn’t take it.”

The autopsy also found that the “Colourblind” singer was living with a broken neck following a car crash he had with his actor friend Gerard Butler in 2010.

According to Cheek, Danesh “refused to get help or complain about it” and used chloroethane “because he was in so much pain and he didn’t want to take pills, not even aspirin”.

She said: “I don’t think it ever fully healed and then he rebroke it because he got hit by a car in London a year or two before he died when he was riding a bike.”

(Getty Images)

The Sun claims that Danesh was in Minnesota visiting Butler, who paid tribute to the singer at the time of his death, calling him “a true brother in arms”.

A source said that a member of Butler’s team found Danesh’s body, and there was “about three days before his loved ones were informed”. They said: “There are a lot of things that don’t make sense and should have been handled differently.”

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Danesh first earned fans for his theatrical cover of Britney Spears’s “Baby One More Time” on the 2001 talent show Popstars.

In 2002, Danesh came third on Pop Idol behind Will Young and Gareth Gates. His memorable moments on the show included his renditions of Tom Jones’s hit “It’s Not Unusual” and Atomic Kitten’s “Whole Again”. The final was watched by more than 13 million viewers.

Having turned down a record deal from judge Simon Cowell, Danesh nevertheless reached number one in the UK later that year with his track “Colourblind”. His album Dive In reached the top 10.

Cheek is releasing a new podcast, Grieving Back to Life, on 19 August, which would have been Danesh’s 43rd birthday.

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