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Byline: By Wales on Sunday

Pop star Darius Danesh has opened his heart about his father's battle with cancer.

We caught up with the gorgeous Scot when he performed his new single Kind of Love at Cardiff's Mardi Gras yesterday.

And he confided how his dad Booth, suffering from lymphatic cancer, has been his inspiration for his songwriting during the last year.

The former Pop Idol finalist said: 'I've got to be honest, I really didn't think I'd record a new album this year.

'My father was diagnosed with cancer this year and an album release was the last thing on my mind.

'But, even though he was very sick, he sat me down and told me to continue following my dream. He said he was incredibly proud of everything I have done and to carry on living my dream.

'And I think at any age, you still want to make your mum and dad proud, so I've spent the year writing songs and travelling back and forth to LA.

'Dad's been an absolute inspiration and I do think the songs on the album, called Live Twice, are very personal to what's been going on over the past 11 months.

'I've spent an awful lot of time at home with my parents and family, and that has been wonderful. Dad's doing OK.

'We just take each day as it comes. But we were told he wouldn't be here today, so I'm very grateful he still is.'

Darius, who famously announced he would have a platinum-selling album by the time he was 30 when he was rejected by Nasty Nigel Lythgoe on Popstars, did just that.

And he's hoping to recreate the success of his debut album Dive in with Live Twice.

He said: 'It's a bit more of a mature album than my first one. Live Twice is the name of one of the ballad tracks on the album, and one of my personal favourites.

'It's a very naked, emotional album, one that has sentiment but is not too sentimental.'

Darius said it was great to be back in Cardiff, and said it was one of his only live performances this summer.

He's bracing himself for the promotion of his new single Kind of Love, released in October but he hopes he's got time to tune into new reality TV show The X Factor.

He said: 'All I'd say to Simon is go easy on them!'
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 5, 2004
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