Danny Gokey is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, born U.S singer and former church director whose fame and popularity came as a result of his participation in the eighth season of the American Idol, where he emerged as the third place finalist and was among the seven contestants from the season who got signed to record deals.
After landing record deals with 19 Recordings and RCA Nashville, he dropped his first single “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me” in December 2009 and followed it up with a debut album My Best Days, which was released in March 2010. In 2011, he moved his music from the country music genre toward adult pop/contemporary Christian music genre, and thus, he had to leave RCA Nashville and signed a new deal with BMG. He dropped his second studio album Hope in Front of Me in 2014.
Danny was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the 24th of April 1980 as Daniel Jay Gokey. He is the fifth of the six children his parents have. He has four sisters (Janell, Gina, Tracey, and Angela), and a brother named Charles.
He attended Heritage Christian Schools in his birth city and was introduced to music early in life, he began singing with his family in their family church – Faith Builders International Ministries.
While in the 9th grade, Gokey auditioned for his school’s singing group – ABLAZE, he wasn’t selected but was allowed to play the trumpet for a few years instead. He was the worship director at his church for many years and during this time, he also worked for a local logistics company as a driver for a period of two years.
Rise To Fame
Danny Gokey became a national figure and a household name after he participated in the eighth edition of the American Idol. He auditioned for the singing competition in Missouri’s city of Kansas alongside his friend Jamar Rogers and they both made it to Hollywood but Rogers didn’t make it to the semi-final stage like his friend Danny did.
At the season’s finale, Gokey did a duet with R&B star Lionel Richie. Although he was the only contestant who was never in the bottom two or three that season, he was eliminated in the 3rd place and signed a record deal with 19 Recordings and RCA Nashville. Danny did not only become the first male Idol to be signed to a major country label, but also the first third-place finalist to be signed on to 19 Recordings.
In December 2009, he dropped his first single “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me”, his first album My Best Days, came three months later and soon made it to #4 on the chart as well as having the best opening sales in eighteen years. It was also the highest debut album by any new country artist to be sold by digital downloads.
At the first annual American Country Awards that year, he was nominated for Best New/Breakthrough Artist, he was also part of ABC’s pre-show event at the American Music Awards, which also held the same year. He left RCA Nashville towards the end of 2011 and in May 2012, he released an EP Love Again via his official website. The following year, he published a memoir, Hope in Front of Me: Find Purpose in Your Darkest Moments.
In 2014, Danny Gokey released a new single under BMG titled “Hope in Front of Me” his second album with the same title dropped in June of the same year and debuted No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart. By late August, “Hope in Front of Me” was everywhere both at the top of the Billboard Christian Airplay chart, Mediabase Christian Adult Contemporary chart and the Billboard Christian AC Songs chart.
In 2015, he released another lead single “Lift Up Your Eyes” from his album, Christmas Is Here, which was later released in October of the same year. The next year he joined the Rock & Worship Roadshow Tour. His most recent album was nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album at the Grammy Awards.
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Is Danny Gokey Married Or Divorced? – His Wife, Kids & Family
Danny Gokey was married to his high School sweetheart Sophia Martinez, from 2004 to 2008. The two had been together since 1997. Unfortunately, Sophia died in July 2008 during a surgery, she was 27. She had been suffering from congenital heart disease, and that was the third surgery she was undergoing due to complications.
Sophia was a huge fan of American Idol and had encouraged Gokey to audition for the singing competition and four weeks after her death, Danny was standing before a team of judges in Kansas City, Missouri, auditioning for the show.
Four years after Sophia’s death, Danny found love again in the arms of a model Leyicet Peralta with whom he tied the nuptial knot in January 2012. Danny and Sophia had no children of their own. But his new marriage has produced three adorable children -Victoria Isabella, Daniel Emanuel, and Gabriel Daniel.
Danny reads writes and understands Spanish. In memory of Sophia, he founded an NGO named Sophia’s Heart Foundation.
If Gokey wasn’t singing, he would have been a motivational speaker. The singer is into real estate and also runs a bed and breakfast business.
His net worth is currently put at of $600 thousand. He stands at the height of 5″10 (1.78 m).