Danny Gokey's first wife, Sophia, unexpectedly died during heart surgery in 2008 just before he tried out for American Idol
. The former church leader was open about his grief throughout his appearances in the singing competition. Gokey signed with RCA Nashville immediately following his run on Idol
but after releasing one single, "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me
," he was dropped from the label's roster.
After struggling with thoughts of suicide, marrying his second wife Leyicet Peralta was one of the many steps Gokey took toward hope, which he details in the title track of his first faith-based album. "If people can look at my life and say, 'What would have happened if I gave up at that point?' There would be no Sophia's Heart (Gokey's charity). There would be no impactful music. There would be no hope for changing people's lives. There would be no (family)," Gokey told The Tennessean
. "And I think if people could take that and apply it to themselves, they could see that it's not time to give up. There's other people's lives that need your story, so keep moving forward."