"It's interesting how one decision can change the direction of your life," says Gokey.
For Gokey, that one decision came in 2008. Danny was 28 at the time, driving a truck during the day and leading music at his church at night. His wife Sofia was the one who encouraged him to try out for AMERICAN IDOL. She passed away just one month before those auditions were to be held.
"Believe me I wouldn't have tried out," says Gokey. "But I am kinda glad that I did try out and that I went on with my life. I don't think people really get that part but it gave me music, gave me a reason to live again."
AMERICAN IDOL was a learning experience, but Danny says Hollywood wasn't everything he thought it would be.
"Hollywood really was in a way like a vacuum, bringing you in and spitting you out almost you know?" says Gokey. "If you are not careful it can change you, and I remember at that time I had to try to balance myself and keep myself sane."
He ended up placing 3rd on Season 8 and signing a contract with RCA Nashville. His debut album was released in 2009 and sold over 200,000 copies. After opening up for super country group Sugarland, Danny left his record label. It was a whirlwind experience but he believes it was no accident.
"God directs our steps in life and I knew my steps were directed to Nashville," says Gokey. "There is so much here in Nashville. So much more."
That included Sophia's Heart, an organization Danny founded that helps homeless families by offering them a place to stay while they get back on their feet. Sophia's heart is currently helping 9 families with plans to help even more, and Danny has found love again and is moving in a new direction with his music. He says it's just the beginning.
"I believe there is so much more ahead of me," says Gokey. "I take it one stride at a time, you know? With the music touring, releasing new music. With the organization, it's one thing right after another, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
Make sure to tune in to TENNESSEE MORNINGS tomorrow to hear Danny perform! You'll have a chance to get entered to win an AMERICAN IDOL prize pack!