Danny Gokey

Danny Gokey Biography(Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Daniel Jay "Danny" Gokey (born April 24, 1980) is an American country music singer and church music director from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the third place finalist on the eighth season of American Idol. After his placing on the show, Gokey signed to 19 Recordings and RCA Records Nashville as the beginning of a career in country music, releasing the single "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me." His debut album, My Best Days, was released in March 2010.

Early life

Gokey started singing with his family in church, but stated he would rather record mainstream music than perform solely contemporary Christian music. He was the worship director at his church in Milwaukee, Faith Builders International Ministries, for several years.

He is the fifth of six children. He has a brother, Charles, and four sisters, Angela, Janel, Gina, and Traci .

He has acknowledged the influence of Jeffrey and Robin Pruitt the pastors of the church he worked at and also Matthew Barnett the founder of the LA Dream Center. He has stated that his faith is the "key to who I am." Gokey then spent two years on the open road as a freight driver..

American Idol


Gokey rose to national fame with his participation in the eighth season of American Idol. On August 8, 2008, he auditioned in Kansas City, Missouri, along with his friend Jamar Rogers, who is also from Milwaukee. Both made it through to Hollywood, but Rogers was eliminated from the competition prior to the semifinals. (Rogers later appeared on the second season of NBC's The Voice.) Gokey's American Idol audition occurred only four weeks after his wife's death in July 2008.

During Rock Week (Top 4 week), Gokey's take on Aerosmith's "Dream On" was panned for the extended scream with which he finished the song. Gokey was eliminated during Top 3 week, after his performance of Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful."

During the season 8 finale on May 20, 2009, Gokey performed a duet with R&B superstar Lionel Richie. The performance opened with Gokey singing a true-to-the-original soulful ballad solo of Richie's "Hello," and then Richie joined Gokey for a duet of his hits "Just Go" and "All Night Long".


Week # Theme Song choice Theme-related artist Order # Result
Audition Auditioner's Choice "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" Marvin Gaye N/A Advanced
Hollywood First Solo "Kiss from a Rose" Seal N/A Advanced
Hollywood Group Performance "Somebody to Love" Queen N/A Advanced
Hollywood Second Solo "I Hope You Dance" Lee Ann Womack N/A Advanced
Top 36/
Semi-Final 1
Billboard Hot 100 Hits to Date "Hero" Mariah Carey 12 Advanced
Top 13 Michael Jackson "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" Michael Jackson 3 Safe
Top 11 Grand Ole Opry "Jesus, Take the Wheel" Carrie Underwood 8 Safe
Top 10 Motown "Get Ready" The Temptations 9 Safe
Top 9 Top Downloads "What Hurts the Most" Rascal Flatts 3 Safe
Top 8 Year They Were Born "Stand by Me" Mickey Gilley 1 Safe
Top 7 Songs from the Cinema "Endless Love" " Endless Love Diana Ross & Lionel Richie 5 Safe
Top 7 Disco "September" Earth, Wind & Fire 3 Safe
Top 5 Rat Pack Standards "Come Rain or Come Shine"
Frank Sinatra 4 Safe (Top 2)

Top 4 Rock and roll Duet
"Renegade" with Kris Allen
"Dream On"
Top 3 Judge's Choice (Paula Abdul)
Contestant's Choice
"Dance Little Sister"
"You Are So Beautiful"
Terence Trent D'Arby
Billy Preston
  • ^ Due to the judges using their one save to save Matt Giraud, the Top 7 remained intact for another week.
  • ^ It was only announced that Allison Iraheta received the lowest number of votes this week. The other member(s) of the bottom two or three were never revealed.

Post-Idol career

Gokey was nominated in his state of Wisconsin for a WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) Award for Best Christian/Gospel Artist of the Year.

As of September 2009, Gokey has finished his tour with the other idols on the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2009, and he is also working on his foundation, Sophia's Heart, which was set up to help disadvantaged children.

Gokey, known for his many pairs of eyeglasses that he often wore on the show, has stated he may start an eyewear line to help raise funds for his foundation. In 2012 he released his eyewear collection.</ref>|date=May 2012}}

My Best Days (2009"2010)

On September 1, 2009, Gokey signed with 19 Recordings/RCA Nashville, becoming the first third place finisher to record with 19 and the first male Idol to be signed to a major country label. On November 19, 2009, 19 Recordings and RCA Records announced the release of the debut single "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me". Gokey's debut album, My Best Days, was released on March 2, 2010. It debuted on the Billboard charts at number four, and it nets Gokey the best opening-week sales by a debut country male in 18 years. Gokey also has the highest debut of digital downloads sold by any new country artist ever. In support of the album, Gokey will be the opening act on Sugarland's Incredible Machine tour which began in April. Gokey also performed at country singer Darryl Worley's ninth annual Tennessee River Run festival in Savannah, Tennessee along with other artists such as Joe Diffie and Lee Brice. The event helped raise $200,000 for the Darryl Worley Foundation.

On October 18, 2010, Gokey earned a nomination for Best New/Breakthrough Artist at the first annual American Country Awards. He revealed in an interview released on October 26, 2010, that he had recently recorded his own version of the Amy Grant song, "Tennessee Christmas," to be released to country radio as a holiday single..

On November 21, 2010, Gokey was a part of ABC's pre-show event at the American Music Awards.

Second studio album (2011"present)

Gokey released the single "Second Hand Heart" on July 4, 2011. As of July 15, 2011, the song has sold 8,000 copies.

He was one of opening acts on Taylor Swift's Speak Now World Tour. He also made an appearance in a TV movie with Candace Cameron Bure called Truth Be Told.

Gokey left RCA Nashville in November 2011.

Gokey released his EP "Love Again" in May 2012. It was self-released limitedly via his official website only as CD format.

Personal life

Gokey married his high school sweetheart, Sophia Martinez, on May 15, 2004. The two had been together since 1997.

On July 9, 2008, four weeks before he auditioned for American Idol, Gokey's wife underwent routine surgery for congenital heart disease. It was her third surgery, but she died from complications. The couple had been together for 12 years, and Gokey credited her for his success. Sophia was a fan of American Idol and encouraged Gokey to be a contestant, and Danny started a foundation in her name Sophia's Heart Foundation with some of her family members who are also musicians. The foundation exists to help mend and heal the hearts of children and families who have been touched by poverty, sickness, disease, broken homes and broken dreams.

In 2011, Gokey began dating Leyicet Peralta. The two announced their engagement on December 25, 2011 on the Sophia's Heart website. They were married on January 29, 2012.On July 15, 2012, Gokey announced that he and his wife were expecting a baby due in early 2013.

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Result
2009 Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Best Christian/Gospel Artist of the Year
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer Tour (with American Idol Top 10)
2010 Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Male Vocalist of the Year
American Country Awards New/Breakthrough Artist of the Year


Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart
US Country
My Best Days
  • Release date: March 2, 2010
  • Label: RCA Nashville/19
  • Format: CD, digital download
3 4
  • US sales: 204,000


Year Single Peak chart
US Country
2009 "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me" 24 82 My Best Days
2010 "I Will Not Say Goodbye" 32 "?
2011 "Second Hand Heart" 48 "? Non-album song

Other charted songs

Year Single Peak positions Album
US Bubbling
2009 "You Are So Beautiful" 25 Non-album song

Music videos

Year Video Director
2010 "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me" Wes Edwards
"I Will Not Say Goodbye"

This biography article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Danny Gokey". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.

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