Danny Gokey / (Photo credit: showclix.com)
If you’re a devotee of the American Idol, you’ve probably witnessed Danny Gokey’s performances throughout the competition. And, of course, his eventual win as the third-place finalist in the program’s eighth season. Although he did not win the first spot, he’s proven that he’s a true winner in life after his stint with American Idol. But first, before we dive into his great successes, let’s send him our warmest birthday greetings as he turns 37 today.
Gokey rose to fame after he signed with 19 Recording and RCA Nashville and embarked on a country music career. A huge part of such decision was inspired by his mentor Randy Travis, a country music icon, himself. Travis told Gokey that he’ll find success bringing ‘soul’ to the country format. Accordingly, he released his first single as a country artist entitled “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me.”
His First Country Single
His debut single is a song that, most probably, Gokey could relate to. It’s loaded with sentiments about past mistakes. However, there’s also the realization that the best days are yet to come. These factors are quite relevant to Gokey following his first wife’s death weeks prior to his Idol audition. In an interview, he discussed that he and one of the songwriters, Kent Blazy, share the same experience. It’s the first song that Blazy wrote after his wife passed away.
‘I was walking through the park, and I heard someone walk past, and he said, ‘My best days are ahead of me.’ And [Kent] said, ‘That’s what started the song idea.’
Co-written by Marv Green, the song is Gokey’s anthem.
From Country to Christian Music
Although Gokey followed Travis’ advice, it seemed that his career is meant for something else, other than country music. His debut album My Best Days which features the title track and other singles attained only a minor success. After this, the singer found himself embarking on a faith-based music niche. Accordingly, he released his second album Hope in Front of Me in June 2014. The album climbed to No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums chart. It produced the hit singles “Hope in Front of Me,” “More than You Think I Am” and “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again.” A follow-up to this is his Christmas collection that also entered the top 10 of Top Christian Album list. His recent project, Rise, likewise manifested a continued success with its lead single and title track peaking at No. 9 on the Hot Christian Songs chart. He hopes that such momentum will carry on.
Gokey expressed his amazement for the sustained support coming from the fans no matter what music type he’s into.
“When it was time to switch over I think people loved the authenticity because if you look at my country record, there were songs that had strong messages in them and that remained the same when I switched over to Christian music.”
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