American Idol: Where Are They Now — Season 8’s Danny Gokey
It’s hard to believe American Idol has been on the air for 10 years! The singing competition recently wrapped on Season 11 and crowned Phillip Phillips the new winner.
By now, we know that post-Idol careers turns out well for some (if your name happens to be Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, or Carrie Underwood), but some struggle to find a place in the fickle music business.
So what are your past Idols are up to now? Today, we catch up with Season 8’s Danny Gokey...
SEASON: 8 PLACE: 3rd
THEN: A 28-year-old praise and worship leader for a church back home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Danny auditioned for Idol four weeks after the death of his wife, Sophia.
POST-IDOL: As with many contestants who finish well on the show, Danny signed to 19 Entertainment and snagged a deal with RCA Nashville as well. His debut album, My Best Days, was released on March 2, 2010. It debuted at number four on the Billboard charts and set a record for the highest first week digital sales by a new country artist. He opened for Sugarland on their Incredible Machine tour and was nominated for Best New/Breakthrough Artist at the first annual American Country Awards. He also got a chance to co-host the American Music Awards pre-show event on ABC that year.
Danny is no longer with RCA Nashville, but he’s definitely stayed busy post-Idol. He married girlfriend Leyicet Peralta on January 29, 2012, and self-released a new EP called “Love Again” in May 2012. He has reportedly signed with a new management company and expects to have a new CD out early next year. Outside of music, he made time to start his very own line of eyewear in partnership with Wisconsin Vision and Match Eyewear, a goal Danny says he’s “always dreamed of.”