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Daniel Jay Gokey is an American singer and former 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 Nashville at 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.
After leaving RCA Nashville in November 2011, he moved his musical direction toward adult pop/contemporary Christian music genre and made a record/publishing deal with BMG in May 2013. His second full-length album, Hope in Front of Me, was released in June 2014.
Gokey attended Heritage Christian Schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He started singing with his family in church but stated he would rather record mainstream music than perform solely Christian/gospel 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 named Charles, and four sisters: Angela, Janell, Gina, and Tracey.
He has acknowledged the influence of Jeffrey and Robin Pruitt, who are 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 was a church music director while also driving a semi truck (18 wheeler) for a local logistics company for two years.
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, whom he met in 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 the only contestant in that season who was never in the bottom two or three, but he was eliminated in third place on May 13, 2009, 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".
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 died from complications during her third surgery to treat her congenital heart disease. 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. With branches in Milwaukee, Nashville and Sacramento, the organization's goals are to provide hope and help to homeless families, provide scholarships to deserving students and operate a thriving inner-city music and arts program.
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. Their son Daniel Emanuel was born on January 20, 2013. Their daughter Victoria Isabella was born on November 28, 2014. Their son Gabriel Daniel was born on August 29, 2017.
Wikipedia contributors. (2019, January 12). Danny Gokey. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:46, January 12, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Danny_Gokey&oldid=877973652
The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced today the nominees in 44 categories for the 47th Annual GMA Dove Awards. The awards show will take place on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at Lipscomb University's Allen Arena in Nashville at 6:30 p.m. CST.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announces initial list of performers and presenters set to appear at the 46th Annual GMA Dove Awards.