Danny Gokey first caught the attention of the nation on “American Idol” season 8. Now with his new single “Hope In Front Of Me,” the singer encourages listeners to find purpose in their darkest moments.
“It has been a gratifying process to be able to share the parts of my story that many people may not know,” he says. “My hope is that people can find a part of their story in mine and that it will inspire hope in others. There are new beginnings. You can recover after devastating loss. Your past does not have to define you or your future. And the greatest part of my story is that helping others brings healing to you and those you help.”
With his sophomore album, Hope In Front of Me, Danny focuses on redemption and starting over. "I walked through a great amount of pain in the loss of a spouse, and since then, people haven’t really seen the redemption side. So with these songs, I am showing the redemptive side of the journey," he says. “With this record, we really wanted to just capture more of who I am -- more of the soul, and more of all of me as an artist.”
After losing his wife (and high school sweetheart) Sophia to a congenital heart disease, Danny auditioned for “American Idol” - something his wife asked him to do before she passed away.
"When I tried out for 'American Idol' it was a month after she (Sophia) passed away. People asked, 'why'd you do that?' Believe me, I didn't want to try out for this show. But I had made a promise to my wife that year that I was going to try out for 'American Idol' and when she passed away, everything inside of my heart said I don't want to try out for the show because I had nothing to say to anybody," he explains. "I was so hurt, I wish I could go the next year but I was 28 at the time and you only have until 28 years old to try out. So I was placed in a rock and a hard place and little did I know that God was writing my story before I got there. He put me in that place."
Danny not only passed the “American Idol” audition, he landed in third place, signed a record deal, and released his first album My Best Days which debuted at number 4 on the Billboard charts.
Danny is remarried and he and his wife, Leyicat, have two children, a boy and a girl. Wanting to share his story of hope and faith, Danny wrote a book called Hope In Front Of Me - Find Purpose in Your Darkest Moments (2013.) Danny also founded Sophia's Heart a non-profit organization named after his first wife. It exists to help homeless families get on their feet. “Sophia’s Heart hasn't been easy. Everyone said I was crazy doing Sophia’s Heart, but these are the things I believe in,” he says. “I believe in my music. I believe in helping people who are down. I believe I have something to offer…this year is my year, and I feel this is my opportunity to really just show what I’m about.”