Darius Campbell

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Darius Campbell
Darius Campbell.JPG
Darius Campbell performing
Background information
Birth name Darius Campbell-Danesh
Also known as Darius Danesh, Darius
Born (1980-08-19) 19 August 1980 (age 34)
Glasgow, Scotland
Genres Acoustic, swing, opera
Occupations Actor, singer, songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2000–present
Labels 19 (2002–present)
Mercury Records (2002–present)
Website www.dariusmusic.com

Darius Campbell (born Darius Campbell-Danesh, 19 August 1980), also known professionally either as Darius Danesh or Darius, is a Scottish platinum-selling singer-songwriter, a West End stage actor, an operatic baritone, an author, and an Ambassador for The Prince's Trust.

He performed the role of Billy Flynn in the West End production of Chicago, the youngest ever to play that part, in two runs of the musical. He played both the lead role of Sky Masterson in the Olivier Award winning Guys and Dolls, and the originating role of Rhett Butler in Sir Trevor Nunn's theatrical adaptation of Gone with the Wind.

In 2010 he trained with tenor Rolando Villazón, won the hit ITV competition Popstar to Operastar, and performed a duet with Villazón on "The Impossible Dream." The United Kingdom's biggest operatic production ever was the occasion of his operatic début, at The O2 arena with the Royal Philharmonic, in Carmen. At 29, he became the youngest performer to assume the lead role of Carmen's lover, a role more often awarded to a baritone in his forties. Also in 2010 he starred in The History of the Big Bands tour, a show which takes the audience on a musical journey through the Big Band and Swing era.

Early life[edit]

Campbell was born in Glasgow, to an Iranian father Dr. Booth Danesh and a Scottish mother Dr. Avril Campbell. His family live in Bearsden[1] and he has two younger brothers. Educated at Bearsden Primary School[2] and the Glasgow Academy,[3] he went on to study English Literature and Philosophy at Edinburgh University.

His professional career began acting as a ten-year-old Trojan boy in a non-singing role of the Scottish Opera's avant garde 1990s production of The Trojans. As a teenager he then performed at Covent Garden Royal Opera House with the Scottish Opera in a production of Carmen.[4][5]

Career[edit]

2001-02: Popstars and Pop Idol[edit]

Campbell live in 2012

He first gained fame in 2001 while studying English literature at Edinburgh University, after appearing on the British talent competition Popstars. A year later he was voted to the finals of the TV talent show, Pop Idol. He turned down Simon Cowell's record deal, then signed with producer Steve Lillywhite.

2002-04: Colourblind and Dive In[edit]

The first single written by Campbell, Colourblind, was released on 29 July 2002 and entered the UK singles chart at number 1, staying at the top of the charts for two weeks, it was certified silver.

His debut album, Dive In, was certified platinum in the UK in 2004, charting at number 6 in the UK albums chart during the competitive pre-Christmas sales.[6] He has subsequently had five UK Top Ten singles and a second gold album.

He wrote all 12 songs on the Dive In album and produced one of the tracks called Better Than That whilst collaborating with a number of other producers such as The Misfits and The Matrix on the other tracks. Steve Lillywhite was executive producer on the album. Campbell, then performing as Darius Danesh, supported Shakira on her world tour and went on to complete his own sell-out UK Dive In Tour.

The Dive In Tour took place in April and May 2003. The fifteen dates scheduled for May expanded to twenty three dates on public demand.[7]

2004-05: Sink or Swim book and Live Twice[edit]

His book Sink or Swim, about the perils of the music business, was a Sunday Times sixth best seller. He contributed to the War Child charity album[8] with Coldplay and Oasis and headlined in India with Alanis Morissette[9] after his album went platinum there.

After receiving news that his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he wrote and dedicated his second studio album Live Twice to Dr Booth Danesh.[6] In 2005, the album's title-track Live Twice became his fifth Top Ten single.[10]

2005-08: Chicago and Guys and Dolls[edit]

Campbell had two West End runs in Chicago[10] during 2005-2006, and at 25, became the youngest actor to fill the role of Billy Flynn since the show first opened on Broadway in 1975.

In 2007, after seeing Ewan McGregor in the role, he played the lead in Michael Grandage's Olivier Award winning production of Guys and Dolls, starring as Sky Masterson.[11] Later that year he reprised his role of Billy Flynn for the 10th Anniversary charity performance of Chicago in London, to benefit the charities Breast Cancer Haven and Breast Health Institute.[12]

In 2008 he returned to London's West End to play Rhett Butler in Sir Trevor Nunn's musical adaptation of Gone With The Wind.[13]

2010-2011: Popstar to Operastar[edit]

In January and February 2010 Campbell won the UK's ITV1 talent show Popstar to Operastar, in which eight pop stars were trained to perform world-famous opera arias. He was mentored by world-leading tenor Rolando Villazón, with whom he went on to duet with on the song "The Impossible Dream". In May 2010 he appeared as toreador Escamillo in Bizet's opera Carmen at The O2 arena in London.[14] At 29, he became the youngest performer to assume the lead role of Carmen's lover, a role more often awarded to a baritone in his forties. Also in 2010 he starred in The History of the Big Bands tour[15] – a show about the Big Band and Swing Era, featuring the songs of Frank Sinatra and the music of the key musicians of the big band era, including music from Harry James, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Woody Herman and Buddy Rich.

2013: From Here to Eternity the Musical[edit]

On 1 July 2013, it was announced that Campbell would play the lead role of Warden in the show From Here to Eternity the Musical.[16]

Other work[edit]

Television[edit]

In 2003 Campbell appeared as himself in an episode of the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, performing 'Girl in the Moon' at a graduation ball. In 2009 he guest-starred on the BBC show Hotel Babylon, starring as Gennaro Fazio, an Italian magazine editor.[17]

In January and February 2010 Campbell competed in and won the ITV talent show Popstar to Operastar, in which eight pop stars were trained to perform world-famous opera arias. He was mentored by world-leading tenor Rolando Villazón, with whom he went on to duet with on the song "The Impossible Dream".

Charity[edit]

Campbell is an Ambassador for The Prince's Trust, helping underprivileged youth. He has designed a guitar for Guitar Aid.[18] He works with and supports the Lymphoma Association and Cancer Research UK amongst other cancer charities.

Personal life[edit]

Campbell was married to Canadian actress Natasha Henstridge. Campbell and Henstridge married in a secret ceremony in February 2011.[19] The couple filed for divorce in July 2013.[20][21]

Discography[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sarah Swain (12 October 2010). "Snow White has to be woken up by a real Scotsman – you won’t see me in a pair of tights! - Evening Times | Features | Editor's Picks". Evening Times. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Centenary celebrations for Bearsden Primary - Local Headlines". Milngavie Herald. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Bernadette McNulty Published: 12:01AM BST 9 Apr 2008 (9 April 2008). "Frankly, Darius Danesh does give a damn". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "GMTV 12 January 2010 : Popstar to Opera Star". Gm.tv. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Broadway.com". London.broadway.com. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  6. ^ a b The Record Music Magazine, January 2005
  7. ^ CBBC Newsround 11 December 2002: Original Tour dates
  8. ^ "Music stars unite for war charity, 14 October 2002". BBC News. 14 October 2002. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Alanis Morissette and Darius to stage at MTV Immies, 1 December 2004". IndianTelevision.com. 1 December 2004. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "The Big Smoke, 7 November 2005". Thebigsmokex.blogspot.com. 7 November 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "Guys And Dolls the Musical". Guys And Dolls the Musical. Retrieved 1 March 2010. [dead link]
  12. ^ Official London Theatre Guide[dead link]
  13. ^ "Darius Danesh Is Gone with the Wind Rhett Butler". Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  14. ^ "Darius lands first major opera role". The Press Association. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  15. ^ "History of the Big Bands". historyofthebigbands.com. Retrieved 3 July 2010. 
  16. ^ "Pop Idol finalist Darius takes Burt Lancaster role in musical remake". standard.co.uk/. Evening Standard. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Hotel Babylon credits". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  18. ^ "The Darius Guitar". Guitar Aid. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  19. ^ "Natasha Henstridge - Natasha Henstridge And Darius Campbell Wed - Contactmusic News". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
  20. ^ Loinaz, Alexis (2013). "Natasha Henstridge Files for Divorce From Darius Campbell | E! Online". eonline.com. Retrieved 30 July 2013. "Darius Campbell" 
  21. ^ Zach Johnson (24 July 2013). "Natasha Henstridge, Darius Campbell Getting Divorced After Two Years". US Magazine. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
None
Winner of Popstar to Operastar
2010
Succeeded by
Joe McElderry