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2009 'American Idol' Finalist Releases Debut Album

Danny Gokey's debut album 'My Best Days'

During the past two years, Danny Gokey has gone from working as a commercial truck driver to signing with a major Nashville record company. The 2009 "American Idol" Top 5 finalist recently released his debut album, "My Best Days."

Danny Gokey's new album gave him the best first-week sales by a debut Country male artist in 18 years. It also set a new record for highest first-week digital album sales ever by a debut Country act.

Danny credits his late wife, Sophia, with inspiring him to pursue his musical dreams. Her death, following surgery for a heart condition, came just weeks before Danny's 2008 "American Idol" audition. The Milwaukee native placed third in the competition. The day after finishing last year's "American Idols Live" tour, Danny moved to Nashville, and began work on his debut album.

During his time on "American Idol," Danny showed the versatility of his voice by performing songs by The Temptations, Michael Jackson, Queen and Rascal Flatts, among others. His decision to pursue a career in Country music was encouraged by Randy Travis.

Danny says, "Randy Travis was a mentor for American Idol, and he asked me, 'Have you thought about Country? You really should because people would love you and the amount of soul that you could bring to Country. You bring a uniqueness to it.'"

Danny is spending most of the year performing concerts throughout the United States. Many of the dates are with the popular Country duo Sugarland. He's also running Sophia's Heart, a charitable foundation for disadvantaged children, which Danny created to keep his late wife's legacy alive.

Danny says his new single, "I Will Not Say Goodbye," represents exactly how he felt after Sophia passed away.