Everyone knows that Danny Gokey, Milwaukeeâ€™s favorite idol, has faced his unfair share of adversity and loss. He rose to fame in 2009 on "American Idol" while struggling with the untimely death of his young wife, Sophia, who had passed away the previous summer. The bespectacled young performerâ€™s vocal talent and personal charm always carried with it a deeply tragic dynamic.
But some stories that Gokey shares in his new book, "Hope in Front of Me" (NavPress), will be new even to his biggest fans. Even before Sophiaâ€™s death, the Gokeys faced plenty of heartbreak and hardship â€“ especially financially, with Sophia deferring her dream of attending college to work full-time as a nanny while Gokey took on a truck-driving job in addition to his duties as worship director at a Milwaukee church.
The newly-wed couple moved in with Sophiaâ€™s employers and struggled to get out of debt and achieve financial stability.
"The hardest part about going through this season of life was feeling like we were so far behind other people," Gokey writes.
The Gokeys struggled to make ends meet as Sophia battled her congenital heart defect; Gokey reveals in the book that money concerns compelled him to work a shift at the Cheesecake Factory during the surgery that would eventually be Sophiaâ€™s last. When she succumbed to her illness in 2008, her widower was emotionally exhausted and embittered.
"I am a person of faith. I believe miracles do happen...but I was tired of believing with nothing to show for it," he writes.
But through his personal faith and strong sense of determination, Gokey overcame the loss of Sophia and found love again with his current wife Leyicet, who is the mother of his nine-month-old son Daniel. Together they run Sophiaâ€™s Heart, a foundation that assists at-risk and disadvantaged children and families.
Gokey just signed with BMG Records, and expects to release his next record in early 2014. He sat down with OnMilwaukee.com to talk about his new label, h…Read more...