Church Music Background:
Danny Gokey has a strong background in church music. He is a worship director at Faith Builders International Ministries in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has said in an interview that faith is, "the key to who I am." However, Danny Gokey has said he is very interested in recording secular music. He was nominated for a Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award for Christian/Gospel Artist of the Year for 2009, but he did not win.
Danny Gokey's Wife Sophia and Foundation:
In 2004 Danny Gokey married his girlfriend of seven years, Sophia Martinez. Four weeks before he was to audition for American Idol in 2008, Sophia underwent routine surgery to help correct a congenital heart condition, and she tragically died from complications of the surgery. Sophia's Heart Foundation was created in her memory.
American Idol Contestant:
Danny Gokey auditioned for American Idol in Kansas City, Missouri with his best friend Jamar Rogers. Both made it to Hollywood week, but Rogers was eliminated before the semifinals. Danny Gokey's audition song was "Heard It Through the Grapevine." He has been one of the favorites to make it the finals from early in the competition. His performance of Aerosmith's "Dream On" in the final four included a closing scream that Danny Gokey says he laughed about all night along.
The Style of Danny Gokey:
Danny Gokey is a naturally energetic performer. Although he admits to being a poor dancer, he has even taken on songs that required him to dance around the stage. The quality of his voice was noted from the beginning and is not questioned in the judging of his performances.