Former American Idol's Danny Gokey scores his third No. 1 on Billboard's Christian Airplay chart this week. His latest single "Rise," the title track and lead single from his second full-length, increases 5 percent to 11 million audience impressions in the week ending Feb. 19, according to Nielsen Music.
"Rise" is Gokey's third Christian Airplay No. 1. His genre debut, "Hope in Front of Me," topped the survey for three weeks in 2014 and "Tell Your Heart to Beat Again" led the June 11, 2016-dated survey.
"I'm Incredibly grateful to see how 'Rise' has connected, not only with radio, but with all of [my] fans," Gokey tells Billboard. "It feels like the song has become a reminder that yesterday's disappointments don't have to affect today."
But Rise not only boasts Gokey's incredible vocal prowess and range, it features his emerging talent as a songwriter on all but two of its songs. It's never been more evident that Gokey is an artist with much to say, drawing upon the highs and lows of his own life experiences that he shares openly with his fans.
Gokey's previous 2014 album, Hope In Front Of Me (buy), was largely informed by the death of his first wife, Sophia, who died unexpectedly after what should have been routine heart surgery. To this day, the experience has shaped who Danny has become. But on all 12-tracks of his new album, he documents how far he has come ...risen, actually... above his adversities-and argues that others who wrestle with similar challenges can find new meaning in their lives, too.
"I wanted to create an album that not only challenged me musically, but that connected with people in an honest and sincere way," said Gokey. "I wanted to use the peaks and valleys of my life's experiences to create a feeling through the music, while conveying a message of optimism through its lyrics. I'm hoping that it resonates with everyone that takes the time to listen."
Drawing from his own experiences with depression and searching for meaning, he assures listeners that hope beckons even in the darkest moments ("Stronger Than We Think"). He acknowledges the social unrest that clouds our world, but points toward the light that lies beyond its reach ("Better Than I Found It"). He promises that no problem is too great to overcome ("The Comeback") and that even those wounded by loneliness can find love ("Symptoms"). All of these messages stem from Gokey's most personal struggles and triumphs. And their power stems from his unique eloquence as a writer and passion as a vocalist.
BMG recording artist Danny Gokey became a favorite of millions of fans as a Top 3 finalist on Season Eight of American Idol. His first album, My Best Days (buy) debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. Following, Danny has celebrated a series of #1s including his latest full album release, his first award-winning holiday album, Christmas Is Here (buy), as well as singles, including "Hope In Front Of Me" and "Tell Your Heart To Beat Again." He is also the founder of Sophia's Heart, an organization established in honor of his late wife that provides hope and help to homeless families in crisis. It also has a thriving inner city music & arts program in Danny's hometown of Milwaukee.
Rise track listing:
- "Stronger Than We Think" (written By Danny Gokey, Bernie Herms, Emily Weisband)
- "If You Ain't In It" (written By Danny Gokey, Ben Glover, Brian White)
- "Rise" (written By Danny Gokey, Benji Cowart, Josh Bronleewe)
- "Masterpiece" (written By Emily Weisband, Bernie Herms)
- "The Comeback" (written By Danny Gokey, Joshua Silverberg, Cameron James)
- "Slow Down" (written By Danny Gokey, Bernie Herms, Emily Weisband)
- "Never Be The Same" (written By Danny Gokey, Anthony Shy Carter, Colby Wedgeworth)
- "What Love Can Do" (written By Drew Ramsey, Bernie Herms, Danny Gokey)
- "Chasing," featuring Jordin Sparks (written By Danny Gokey, Bernie Herms, Emily Weisband)
- "Symptoms" (written By Danny Gokey, Jeff Sojka, Jimmy Burney, Josh Zegan)
- "Better Than I Found It," featuring Kierra Sheard (written By Bobby Hamrick, James Slater, Priscilla Renea)
- "Stronger Than We Think," Bryan Todd Remix