RENFREWSHIRE actor Gerard Butler has said he is "devastated" after the sudden death of his "brother in arms" Darius Campbell Danesh.

The family of singer-songwriter Campbell Danesh, who was pictured with Butler in Malibu recently, announced his death in the US, aged 41, on Tuesday.

Campbell Danesh had strong links to Renfrewshire, as his mum Avril worked as a doctor in Johnstone, while his grandfather Colin Campbell lived in Renfrew.

Hollywood star Butler shared a photo online of the smiling pair together, along with the caption: "I am devastated by the sudden passing of my dear friend Darius, a true brother in arms.

"My thoughts and love go to his wonderful mum and dad, Avril and Booth, and his two brilliant brothers, Aria and Cyrus.

"To those lucky enough to have met Darius for more than a few minutes, they were deeply moved by his infectious laugh and barely containable zest for life.

"He was always armed with a smile, a booming voice and a genuinely warm embrace that few could resist – nor would they want to.

"He was an incredible talent, a singer whose voice touched your soul and an actor with great presence but, most importantly, he had the heart of a lion – it was bigger and brighter than the sun – and an energy so contagious he could light up a room in seconds."

Campbell Danesh made his first bid for fame on ITV show Popstars in 2001.

He also appeared on the first series of Pop Idol, which was won by Will Young.

After coming third on that show, he turned down Simon Cowell's offer of a record deal and signed with music titan Steve Lillywhite.

Paisley actor Butler, 51, who is best known for films such as 300, Law Abiding Citizen and Olympus Has Fallen, said his friend was driven to "inspire others to better themselves."

"Our boy Darius was always constant and unwavering in his passion for life," he added. "But a bigger constant was his dream to inspire others to better themselves. He talked the talk but boy did he walk the walk.

"He had such purity of thought, a deep wisdom and constant gratitude for people, for life, a compassion towards all.

"His hilarious self-deprecating sense of humor allowed him to stay humble – something he valued deeply.

"Darius' undying commitment to being of service to individuals – his family, his friends (none more so than me) and to the world at large – made him the perfect friend.

"He led by example but he was also a teacher, as he pushed those he loved to be the best possible versions of themselves.

"The universe unfolds in ways we may not agree with or even understand. Somewhere in there I believe there is, or will be, some meaning in why he left us so early.

"If it was nothing more than teaching us to live with that open heart, putting others first and never taking ourselves too seriously as we learn to traverse this wonky world we live in then, that might be enough.

"But something tells me there will be way more waves created by our boy Darius further down the line. My heart aches heavily. But going forward, I will beat my drum louder and celebrate life and its every beautiful moment because my brother showed me that was a pretty awesome way to go about it."

Campbell Danesh's debut single, Colourblind, was released in July 2002 and went straight to number one, marking the start of a run of top 10 releases.

Since his death, the song has re-entered music charts and, on Wednesday morning, was in top spot on the iTunes download chart.

Campbell Danesh's family said in a statement he 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 examiners' office."

Police confirmed there were "no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances," with the cause of his death unknown at this stage, the family added.