Danny Gokey Blogs On

Danny Gokey posted his first blog on the website for his foundation for underprivileged kids, Sophia’s Heart, started in honor of his late wife, Sophia.

Danny, in his typically candid fashion has a lot to say about his life during and after Idol, particularly about his detractors, who he feels misunderstood him.   Danny admits to googling his name, and reading everything written about him. Oops!

Marc Roberge Mentors For Garden of ...
Marc Roberge Mentors For Garden of Dreams

He also admits to sticking his foot in his mouth sometimes, and realizes he could use a little PR coaching. Well, that’s a start!

Danny envisions a music career that will intertwine   entertainment with his “movement”, as Danny likes to call his non-profit activities.

He feels sad that some folks assumed he “hated certain groups of people whose lifestyles or beliefs were contrary to mine.” Danny assures you, dear reader, that he’s got unconditional love for everyone.

The blog reads like an expanded version of the little sermon he preached during his summer tour set. I hope next time, he blogs about his upcoming album.

Currently, he’s recording tracks for his debut album, set to be released by 19r/Sony Nashville early next year.   Danny has tweeted that the first single will be released sometime in November.

Read the entire blog HERE.   Read an excerpt after the jump…

I have to admit, I felt over my head so many times and questioned myself as to why and what was I doing.   It’s interesting to see how ones life will undergo intense scrutiny when put into a spotlight.   At one moment, people loved me and the next moment people hated me’ ¦at least that is what I felt. I couldn’t figure it out although I must confess, I desperately needed to attend some kind of media training class and even some T.V. etiquette.   The show is so popular.   At times I felt we were tossed to the media and asked so many questions.   Sometimes the good intentions deep in my heart were not properly conveyed through the words that were spilling out of my big mouth.

I remember many times I would walk out of interviews kicking myself in the butt saying ‘Why did I say that?’  or  ‘I should of said it like this’ .   There were even times I would ask the interviewer not to air a certain thing I said because I would unintentionally say it all wrong.  I look back on those days and I laugh…and I laugh hard; almost as hard as I did when I belted out that ‘blood curdling’  scream at the end of my performance of ‘Dream On’ .    As you can see, I was thrust into an arena of which I knew nothing about and walked in the massive spotlight very ‘green’  behind the ears.

The reason why I laugh now is because I was one of the many contestants who would go online and ‘google’  my name to see what the media outlets and local blogs were saying about me.   I read it all, the good, the bad, the ugly, and sometimes just complete nonsense.   It was definitely a whole lot to take in for a boy who just only really sang in the church and now wanted to pursue a career in the mainstream market.   I could go into detail and share with you the terrible things that were said, written and taken out of context, but they don’t matter anymore.   I learned the important lesson of never allowing what other people say about me to define me.   I’ve learned that when you let other people’s negative words sink deep into your heart, you’ll sometimes succumb to the pressure and sink back, never fulfilling your purpose.   Admittedly, it took me a little while to finally let those fabrications role off my back, allowing me to rise above it all.  Internally from that point forward, I made it up in my heart and mind that I was going to be very forward about my dream and not allow people to influence me just because they didn’t understand me.   If you have not already learned, you will eventually learn that some people are going to flat out despise you no matter what you say or what you do.   Please understand I’m not trying to be the ‘party pooper, ‘  but once you lock this concept in like I did, you will make the right choice to just brush it off, rise above it, and move on towards your dream or particular goal.

About mj santilli 33689 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

106 Comments

  1. I have learned to love Danny. Adam was my favorite on the show, Danny my second favorite. But he has definitely grown in my estimation, as I watched him closely over these last months. I think he is the real deal. His voice is beautiful and the emotional connection he makes is strong and rings true, whether it’s selling a song to a crowd of 20K, or engaging with a group of fans who just want to connect with him for a minute. That is no problem for him, at all.

    I’m glad that he had the emotional strength to take the measure of people who trade in hate and account for it for what it’s worth – nothing. He’s not perfect and he has a lot to learn, and I think he has always been willing and able to admit that.

    Now, I will be the first to admit that raw talent, determination and a sweet spirit will only take you so far. But it has taken him pretty far so far, even his most rabid detractors would have to admit that. So, he has now before him a level of resources and support that most music industry aspirants would only hope for in their wildest, crazy ass dreams. We’ll see what he manages to do with that. I think he will do very well, I will be quite surprised if he does not.

    I cannot wait to hear his single. I love traditional country music, not so hot on a lot of the “modern” stuff, as I have discussed in other threads. But I like what Danny did with the country songs that he did on tour. I think it’s possible to harness his strengths in a way that make him credible and comfortable with what he’s doing, with appeal to his target market. We’ll soon see!

  2. Yay for Danny and Sophia’s Heart! Love that he is candid and that he has learned to not let what some have said about him affect him. I am one of many of his fans who cannot wait to see what unfolds for him. Go Danny!

  3. This was actually pretty well written. I guess the message to Idols is don’t go online. Although Danny got it pretty good from the Idol media establishment as well.

    I like Danny’s voice and think along with the hate, he picked up a boat load of fans., I hope Carrie’s producer can get him a big fat hit. If he can do even half as well as Carrie or Archie (not cool to like them either), he’ll be fine.

  4. Why should Danny shut up. This is a blog that was written on HIS foundation website. A website full of uplifting stories of overcoming obstacles in one’s life, of helping other people, especially children. It is not like he wrote this blog and posted it here or went on the view to discuss it. I really hope the internet hate and fabrications are mostly behind Danny. I know that all celebraties must deal with it, but in Danny’s case it has been unwarranted and extreme. Danny is moving forward and he and his fans have a lot to look forward to. I am very excited for his first single and that he is working with Mark Bright.

  5. Eh, couldn’t think highly of this. Asides from the missteps in the writing, he’s just so… difficult, personally. There’s being “green” (behind the ears or otherwise), and I can totally appreciate that, and even feel bad for him in regards to lack of preparation. And then there’s just being completely confused. “Fabrications”? Really? To say nothing of my opinions of the sermon in general. Say what you want about Carrie or Archuleta (and particularly in the case of the latter, I have said those things), but at least neither seemed like a God-constituted gift of condescension. And yet, astoundingly, he seems too oblivious to get it (making it hard to be really angry at him for being condescending, which is weird). Then again, I am the first person to admit that I never went to a church of any kind, and find a lot of the related practices absolutely insufferable.

    You know, it’s not like I hate him for being Danny Gokey, or some absurd personal grudge. It’s not a “well, I need a target, and this Danny Gokey guy looks great!”. I’m not sure I’d be a fan if he were more palatable, personally, but the only reason for my dislike is when he starts writing/talking like this. It’s not the goofy missteps; it’s the entire program. And I’m not one to be told that my feelings on the subject are illegitimate, least of all by the man who is creating them.

  6. I think Danny needs to recognize that a lot of what was said about him he brought on himself.

    Yes, some of it was OTT and complete bullshit but it was coming from a place of utter disgust at what appeared to be Danny’s use of his dead wife to gain favor with the voting public in order to win a singing competition. Add in the homophobic and intolerant ramblings and it’s a receipe for disaster.

    Danny either needs to learn how to choose his words more carefully or he needs to just keep silent because every time he opens his mouth he makes it worse for himself and this blog is no different. He still doesn’t take responsibility for his own failings, instead choosing to say he’d rather ignore it and move on.

    Well, a lot of people have moved on and I just don’t see Country opening themselves up to him because he just comes across as disingenuous and phony.

  7. I think in person Danny actually radiates tremendous sincerity. In that way, he reminds me of Kellie Pickler (not comparing them in any other way). Danny doesn’t have her delightful personality but he really is very different from the TV persona. I think he converted alot of h8trs on tour. Anway, he’s dependent on good music and label support just like the rest.

    Please put out a great song, Danny. I’ve heard okay from S8 so far but not great.

  8. rattleandhum says

    I think Danny needs to recognize that a lot of what was said about him he brought on himself.

    Sorry but I disagree but that is okay. :) I wish Danny luck in his life. :)

  9. When I saw Danny in concert his love of performing and connection to the audience was strong. I liked him second best instead of 3rd or 4th from on the show. I think he sincerely appreciates his fans support. Every contestant puts the foot in the mouth, occassionally. Of course, anyone who recently lost a spouse would be talking about it, Danny wasn’t trying to get votes by talking about his wife. He shouldn’t have been dragged through the mud or blamed for fans that were voting for him for the wrong reasons. If he wasn’t considered a frontrunner and just a dark horse he would have never had to put up with the stuff he did. I think he was right when he said being a frontrunner hurt him. I hope he will be successful.

  10. Damn crashed window – take #2

    Well….its a step in the right direction. Still not a fan though, on many different levels.

    However, jpfan, I disagree with the “don’t go online” message. I think its VITAL for anyone in the public eye, like Danny, to know how they are perceived. Call it “market research”. Feel free to knowledgeably ignore the stated opinions if need be. But its career suicide to be IGNORANT of them. Merrily skipping along pretending all is butterflies and rainbows when the reality is quite different is tantamount to career suicide.

    Actually the one thing that gives me a degree of Danny PR hope is his admission that he desperately needed to attend some kind of media training / T.V. etiquette classes, because DAMN he usually comes across badly. I personally don’t think Danny is the sharpest crayon in the box, but he at least now understands he has to do better if he wants to stick around.

    He’s trying. I give him that.

  11. Shut up Danny! *Waves to Danny*’ ¦.. sweetie just sing!

    I have to agree to a point: artists’ backstories are relevant to their fans, and can contribute to an artist’s success (or failure). However, he seems to over-analyze things, and then, explain his over-analysis. It’s just a bit much and turns some people off.
    Danny: your backstory is strong and interesting as is (loosing his beloved wife must have been terrible, and rising from the ashes is certainly commendable). Now, work in your foundation and towards success in the music biz. You have a good voice and a fairly solid fanbase (for a new artist at least).

    some people are going to flat out despise you no matter what you say or what you do … once you lock this concept in like I did, you will make the right choice to just brush it off, rise above it, and move on towards your dream or particular goal.

    Apply this to yourself and stop trying to make people like you.

  12. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what it would have been like if 19 had gotten the finale they wanted of Gokey/Lambert. Besides a really odd finale show, when it came to after press…no matter who actually “won”…Danny would have fared far worse than Kris. Not being a previous Idol watcher I’m curious are the on-line melt-downs I’ve been reading since the end of tour a first with this season? I know the Twitter ones are only cuz the site is relatively new. I’ve actually stopped following all of them except for Kradison.

  13. I think if Danny had stfu early on and just sang he would have been better off. He made some major missteps which helped frame his negative backstory. I love Danny’s voice, I just hope he’s smart like Kris Allen to take voice lessons because I think while he possesses a fine instrument he doesn’t always use it well. So when you factor all of his negatives it’s a testament to his innate talent that he has fans. I just would rather not hear him pontificate all the freaking time, and when he isn’t speaking in lofty ideas he’s sounding like an ass on twitter. Like I said, I would prefer that he just sing.

  14. Right, Danny was blogging from the website for the foundation he and his late wife’s family started in her honor. It’s not the place I’d expect to see him writing about his album, except tangentially. He’ll have his official website with RCA Nashville coming soon for that.
    I think Danny was pretty gentle in how he characterized some of the hate he got online. I ran across something at another site where, even this week–months after the AI8 voting is past, a person was suggesting Danny murdered his wife and other posters were agreeing or letting it slide. That’s beyond a ‘fabrication.’
    Danny is who he is, and certainly is coming from a point of view informed by his religious views. A lot of that is infused into how he is approaching the goals of his foundation. It’s interesting, and to a lot of people admirable, that he’s taking the position to pursue his goals and just ride past any attacks or naysayers. That’s got to be hard to do, I’m usually not that successful at it. At the AI concert I attended, people really related to his little speech, which I hadn’t fully expected to see based on reading the recaps. A young mom and son in front of me, for example, were visibly exchanging a moment of encouragement for the boy when Danny made his short comment about not letting critics hold you back.

    Not everyone will like Danny and buy his music. Most people who like his music won’t be reading his blogs or donating to the foundation, for that matter. He doesn’t need everyone to like everything he does, though, to have his chance to be quite successful. Country music should be a good environment for Danny to sing about the subject-matter he wants to put across. He may also have fans who are not visible online. I’ve noticed here at mj’s, very few people post comments about the articles for Carrie Underwood, yet she’s obviously got a big music-buying fanbase. You can’t always tell from what’s visible at sites like this.
    They’ve been very quiet so far about what music Danny is choosing for his album, beyond that he’s completed several songs. I hope he does put out a great single, he has a strong and interesting voice.

  15. I am not a fan of Danny’s music, but I do think he has talent. His biggest problem is that he starts talking and don’t know when to stop. I think when people ask him questions, he feels like he has to give the perfect answer. So he keeps talking and talking, and end up looking foolish. He needs to relax and understand that sometimes a yes or no answer is a good thing.

  16. Mmm, a Gokey/Lambert finale would have pitted two polarizing contestants against each other. (Kris is not polarizing at all.) In the end it didn’t matter who was in the finale. All of the top 4 got signed by 19 and I don’t see Kris’s win giving him that much extra in terms of promo.

  17. I don’t think either Adam or Danny were really even that polarizing, in reality. During the AI season, actions and comments just get amplified and picked over with a microscope by media and fans of the show.
    They both seem like nice guys at heart, who have a point of view in where they want to go with their music.

  18. Right, Danny was blogging from the website for the foundation he and his late wife’s family started in her honor. It’s not the place I’d expect to see him writing about his album, except tangentially. He’ll have his official website with RCA Nashville coming soon for that.
    I think Danny was pretty gentle in how he characterized some of the hate he got online. I ran across something at another site where, even this week’“months after the AI8 voting is past, a person was suggesting Danny murdered his wife and other posters were agreeing or letting it slide. That’s beyond a ‘fabrication.’
    Danny is who he is, and certainly is coming from a point of view informed by his religious views. A lot of that is infused into how he is approaching the goals of his foundation.
    It’s interesting, and to a lot of people admirable, that he’s taking the position to pursue his goals and just ride past any attacks or naysayers. That’s got to be hard to do, I’m usually not that successful at it. At the AI concert I attended, people really related to his little speech, which I hadn’t fully expected to see based on reading some of the recaps. A young mom and son in front of me, for example, were visibly exchanging a moment of encouragement for the boy when Danny made his short comment about not letting critics hold you back. A lot of others were nodding their heads in agreement because of some experience that they could relate to Danny’s story and message.
    Not everyone will like Danny and buy his music or support his foundation. He doesn’t need every possible person in the world to do so, to have his chance to be quite successful in country music. Country should be a good environment for Danny to sing about the subject-matter he wants to put across.
    They’ve been very quiet so far about what songs Danny is choosing for his album, beyond that he’s completed several songs. I hope he does put out a great single, he has a strong and interesting voice

    ITA. IMO, the vast majority of the stuff said about Danny was a mixture of ridiculous, unwarranted, disgusting and over the top. Glad he’s moved past that stuff, and is working on his album. I think that he will be fine if he puts out a decent single and his album. He’s capable of doing that, and I think there is a good chance that he will do that. I agree that Danny doesn’t need everyone to like him, in order to get places and be successful.

    He’s proven that this year. No contestant needs everyone to like them. All they need is enough fans/people buying their music so that they can mantain a decent career. And while Danny did get a ridiculous amount of internet hate, this season, most people in general don’t hate him and wouldn’t slam him for practically everything he said/did, like people on the Internet did. And they won’t hate him unless he does something that is truly awful, and not stuff that most people wouldn’t think twice about.

    I think that Danny has a good chance of doing fine in the music industry.

  19. Danny was one of my favs in the beginning of the season. Now, I seriously wish that he would just STFU & move on.

    If he felt the need to make this statement, he should have done so right off the tour. Just as I was forgetting all his foot in mouth disease, he has to go and dig it all up and remind me how annoying he can be.

    Why does he feel like he MUST have everyone like him? I can think of no other reason why he would be harping on the past.

  20. Aww Danny. I want him to have a hit record just for the lulz it was cause all over the internet. Plus, as much as I like busting on him, he seems like a good guy at heart. I hope he works on learning how to use that great gravelly voice of his. Good raw material, just needs to be worked with. Good luck Danny.

  21. ~~~”certain groups of people whose lifestyles or beliefs were contrary to mine”
    Oh Danny, just stop talking. Sing, but don’t talk. or blog.

  22. October 22, 2009 at 9:35 am
    Danny was one of my favs in the beginning of the season. Now, I

    seriously wish that he would just STFU & move on.

    If he felt the need to make this statement, he should have done so right off the tour. Just as I was forgetting all his foot in mouth disease, he has to go and dig it all up and remind me how annoying he can be.

    Why does he feel like he MUST have everyone like him? I can think of no other reason why he would be harping on the past.

    I don’t think that he wants or needs everyone to like him. He knows that will never be possible. And I don’t think that he’s “harping” on the past. It seems like he’s being reflective of what has happened this season. And he wrote about it on his blog on his website. I doubt he wrote that blog hoping that all of his usual haters, would flock to it and all of a sudden start liking him.

  23. I think Danny needs to recognize that a lot of what was said about him he brought on himself.

    So true. He made an arse of himself time and time again.

    Danny could have done much better for himself. He has a good voice. But his interest in singing is only to promote his foundation. He has said that more than once. His singing is not his passion. So why should I bother with him? He can’t disappear soon enough.

  24. ~~~’ certain groups of people whose lifestyles or beliefs were contrary to mine’ 
    Oh Danny, just stop talking. Sing, but don’t talk. or blog.

    I’m not trying to nitpick but it bothers me that Danny chose to use the word “contrary” instead of “different”. It’s probably the truth that his beliefs cannot be reconciled with others but I find it sad he feels that way. The idea of lifestyles being “contrary” to each other doesn’t sit well with me either.

  25. His blog was on his foundation’s web site. I think the only reason it’s posted here is because it deals with his experience on Idol. I think he’ll use his official web site or twitter for the music stuff.

    I liked the dig at Scream On in the title thread – Danny’s big howler. I’m waiting for EW, Lindsay and Jim C to weigh in. It gets boring reading all their gush about Kris and Adam. At least we won’t get that with Danny. ;)

    I loved Jim C. tweet about Danny and the Details pictures.

  26. Since it’s quite obvious from the response he got during the tour, it shows that Danny is extremely popular and has gained many fans. I hope he has a kick-ass album to show the naysayers that he can do it in spite of the negativity toward him.

  27. And I don’t think that he’s ‘harping’  on the past. It seems like he’s being reflective of what has happened this season. And he wrote about it on his blog on his website.

    That’s probably true that he’s reflecting over what’s happened this year. I think this is the first blog he’s written since early 2009 before the AI season went into full gear. He’ll probably move into other topics for future blogs.

    He has a good voice. But his interest in singing is only to promote his foundation. He has said that more than once. His singing is not his passion.

    Danny usually says he has two passions and sees them working together. I’ve never seen him saying he isn’t interested in singing; he’s sung pretty much all his life, after all. It’s pretty obvious watching him that he loves to sing and to perform for live audiences.
    Despite wanting his music and foundation to support each other, Danny also frequently promises that his music will be “entertaining.” The music he’s chosen so far reflects that he means to do that. He’s had his share of songs with inspirational messages, but also has selected a lot of songs that are simply fun, like PYT, Maria Maria, the upbeat Motown songs, Life is a Highway at the MSMC concert.

  28. But his interest in singing is only to promote his foundation. He has said that more than once. His singing is not his passion

    This is exactly how I feel and one of the reasons that I can’t find any “love” for Mr. Gokey. But now he is in the “private” sector and off the show so if he wants to continual bring his real passion to the forefront during EVERY interview and with everything he writes that is his choice. I just don’t have to listen to it in context with a reality competition about singing.

    As far as people being negative about Danny on the internet….as long as he puts himself out there he will reap the consequences, and for some of us who have gone through much worse than Danny can even imagine, we had a right to our opinion about how he handled himself and his story on AI. And personally I don’t think the hate was unwarranted and stand behind my feelings.

    I also think he really should have gone the “Christian” music route, his apparent lifestyle would seem to fit better in that genre. I am also sure his many invested fans will help him become successful in country music…and that’s OK, too. I’m not going to tell other people what type of music to like and who to like. My stuff with Danny is personal not professional, so good luck, Dude.

  29. Since it’s quite obvious from the response he got during the tour, it shows that Danny is extremely popular and has gained many fans. I hope he has a kick-ass album to show the naysayers that he can do it in spite of the negativity toward him.

    ITA. Danny may have been polarizing to a lot of people on the internet, but he is very popular and has a lot of fans. I definitely think that he has more fans than haters, and that most people in general don’t hate him, (I don’t think that most people in general hate any of the contestants).

    His haters on the internet are more vocal than his fans are, making it seem at times like hardly anyone on the Internet likes him. But he does have a lot of fans even though they aren’t very vocal/post a lot on the non fansites.

    I hope that when his single and album comes out, he gets a decent amount of support from his fans.

  30. I wasn’t going to read this, but I felt obligated to. I’m one of the many who was completely turned off by Danny Gokey – the person. I was also turned off by the hype, the show manipulation (they were after controversy and polarizing contestants), the force feeding of back stories.

    I felt Danny had a good voice that he had no clue how to utilize. I felt that the friend who auditioned with him, Jamar Rogers, was far superior to both Danny and many other acts that were pushed through. I still do and think that he should have been the one to go forward. A lot would have been different this season.

    But past show manipulation, Danny the person, is what turns me off. It’s his bombast, his need to be the center of attention, his total lack of thinking before he speaks or acts. Quite simply, anyone who has to tell me they are an inspiration clearly isn’t.

    Good on him for making a first step to introspection and that he needs to change some things about himself. True that PR and media training can help, but it’s not going to help if you continue in the think of ‘I’m right, they’re wrong’ attitude. It will just come across as more phony.

    There was a lot of hate out there. Much unjustified and OTT as with all the contestants on this show. But much came from a place of truth as well.

    There is a wealth of things to learn from your detractors along side your cheerleaders – and usually more.

    My personal opinion is that if AI had gotten the final two they were pushing for, Danny vs. Adam, Adam would have won. I’m very pleased that it came down to Kris vs. Adam. That was the best final two out of this crop for me.

  31. I cannot wait to hear his single. I love traditional country music, not so hot on a lot of the ‘modern’  stuff, as I have discussed in other threads. But I like what Danny did with the country songs that he did on tour. I think it’s possible to harness his strengths in a way that make him credible and comfortable with what he’s doing, with appeal to his target market. We’ll soon see!

    Hey Josie. :) I didn’t see your post, when I first looked at this thread.

    I am a fan of country music as well and enjoy both traditional and contemporary country music. I think that Danny will be doing more contemporary/modern country music, I think that will suit him better. I would like to see him do something like David Nail’s “Red Light” as his first single, I think that a song like that would suit him well.

    Or maybe something like Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” or Due West’s “I get that all the time.” I could see Danny doing well with songs like those especially songs like “Red Light” and “I get that all the time.” Are there any types of country songs out there, that you could see Danny singing?

  32. I don’t think that he wants or needs everyone to like him. He knows that will never be possible. And I don’t think that he’s ‘harping’  on the past. It seems like he’s being reflective of what has happened this season. And he wrote about it on his blog on his website. I doubt he wrote that blog hoping that all of his usual haters, would flock to it and all of a sudden start liking him.

    Perhaps he is being reflective, but for PR sake, he needs to do this in private. He is not going to win over the haters at this point. He needs to move on & move forward and forget about what he said and what others have said. The more he brings this stuff up the more it is talked about. It won’t help his career & if he needed to do this for personal reasons, he should have done this right off the tour. Digging up the past doesn’t help with this future. Hopefully it won’t hurt, but it certainly won’t help.

  33. I’ve never seen him saying he isn’t interested in singing;

    I could respond to this with a complete blog; but I will spare you.

    In at least two interviews after the show ended, Danny said he would use his singing to promote his foundation. In almost every post-show interview he has talked about his foundation. It might have been a good idea to let us buy into him as a singer before he started his sales pitch.

    Danny was blessed with a good voice and did nothing with it except use it in church. He had no other aspirations until he wanted exposure for his foundation. Danny didn’t know much about music and never troubled himself to learn. Week after week during the competition, he struggled with picking songs because he didn’t even know the songs on the list. He said so himself. Another foot-in-mouth revelation.

    Let him go back to church singing. There’s nothing wrong with that.

  34. I’m not sure his AI contract would let him write a personal blog while they were still on tour. Did any of the others do that? I know Scott did a blog, but I thought it was just recently after the tour wrapped.
    Writing on his own website for his foundation, Danny was presumably writing to his own audience. Not sure if he entertained that mj would pick it up and put it here for a more varied set of readers. If he sees that, he’ll know to expect another time that his blog may be recirculated at other sites. But if he follows his philosophy of not letting people hold you back, he shouldn’t let that stop him from saying what he wants to say.

  35. I doubt he wrote that blog hoping that all of his usual haters, would flock to it and all of a sudden start liking him.

    I kind of have the impression that this is what he hoped would happen. Like, if he would just explain it more, people would get it. Mind you, I don’t think all of what happened was Danny’s fault at all, but perhaps his little quirks worked against him instead of for him. “Least said, soonest mended” should be embroidered all over his underwear ;)

  36. In at least two interviews after the show ended, Danny said he would use his singing to promote his foundation. In almost every post-show interview he has talked about his foundation.

    I don’t disagree that Danny has talked a lot about his foundation. Just talking about his charitable aspirations doesn’t disqualify him from also having a true love for music, though, especially in the face of the evidence from any number of his performances that Danny loves to sing and connect with live audiences through his music.
    People can want to do more than one thing in their life. Danny wants to sing and entertain people, and he wants to build a sustainable charity that will honor his late wife. Both admirable goals, and he’s hardly the first singer who wants to do more than one thing in their career, whether music with charity (We are the World, anyone?), music with acting, or something else.

  37. I’m not sure his AI contract would let him write a personal blog while they were still on tour. Did any of the others do that? I know Scott did a blog, but I thought it was just recently after the tour

    I don’t know whether AI let them do that or not.

    Speaking of websites, I hope that Danny’s Official website is put up soon. He did Tweet and say that he had a meeting with his digital team, and they were working on his website and Itunes. I wonder if he will have a hand in the creation of his website. The SHF one looks pretty good IMHO. I hope that his official one ends up looking good.

    Also, I just saw the Tweet from his photoshoot mentioning taking photos for his album, I hope the photos turn out to be good ones and I am glad to see that things are moving along with his album.

  38. I don’t disagree that Danny has talked a lot about his foundation. Just talking about his charitable aspirations doesn’t disqualify him from also having a true love for music,

    you quoted me but left out the sentence that was the main point of my paragraph. so your response I quoted here makes no sense in relation to what I said.

  39. ~~~’ certain groups of people whose lifestyles or beliefs were contrary to mine’ 
    I’m not trying to nitpick but it bothers me that Danny chose to use the word ‘contrary’  instead of ‘different’ . It’s probably the truth that his beliefs cannot be reconciled with others but I find it sad he feels that way. The idea of lifestyles being ‘contrary’  to each other doesn’t sit well with me either.

    ITA! For me, the less Danny talks, the better, because when he does, it’s like fingernails on a blackboard. I have no problem with people believing differently than I do. Don’t push it on me, and we’re fine, to paraphrase someone else.

    What Danny seems to be saying in his blog is “poor me, I was a pure-hearted innocent lad thrown into a crazy world and no one taught me how not to say stupid sh*t on camera.”
    I was thrust into an arena of which I knew nothing about and walked in the massive spotlight very ‘green’  behind the ears.

    Come on, Danny… “thrust”? Did you not audition for the show, or were you dragged into it against your will?
    Other contestants shared his inexperience and managed to not make fools of themselves. And all the media training and etiquette classes in the world can’t fix the fact that he lacks charisma.
    I actually liked Danny at the very beginning of the season and sympathized with him, but he quickly turned me off with his smarmy, holier-than-thou attitude.
    I really don’t see him succeeding in the Country genre. I’m not a fan of Country music, but it seems that the artists who are successful are down-to-earth, charming, and genuine. Danny has none of these traits.
    Christian music seems like the ideal niche for him.

  40. The idea of lifestyles being ‘contrary’  to each other doesn’t sit well with me either.

    I agree mightily. Danny sets himself up to be in conflict with other people. When he says things like this he is judging, which is in conflict with his Christian faith. God is the only one who has the right to judge. The rest of us are charged with just loving and letting God do the judging. It’s human nature to judge, but we are not supposed to do it. Period.

    (And yes, I realize by even saying this I am judging. But what the hey, this is a blog! Gotta write somethin’)

  41. I thought Danny blog was sincerely written to his particular audience and anyone who have not heard of him before; he expounded on his journey thru American Idol and what his vision for his foundation and music career is about. There is definitely a strong indication that he has grown from this process and has Admittedly learned from his errors ( this is really brave) . He appears to be at peace/ happy with the position he is in presently.

    Within a year’s time, he has accomplished more than what most people will acccomplish in a life time. I believe most humans desire to be loved, liked, or respected and his behavior is consistent with any other human being; however, we all have people in our llives that we don’t like or who don’t like us so Danny’s behavior is no different. Danny’s fanbase deserves to hear from occassionally just as all the idols fans desire to hear from them. Those who staunchly opposes him, his music or his view point, have every right to not read about him or purchase his music, however, Danny has every right to be seen, heard and to promote his agenda ( Music Career and Foundation) as any other celebrity or new comer on the scene does. That being said, I wish him the greatest success and happiness.

  42. “certain group of people” LOL. what is this? some taboo can’t be named?

  43. Good luck to Danny. I hope he takes his own advice and has someone sensible review his blog posts and give him some tips on reading between his own lines.

  44. Not a fan. Never was a fan. Still not a fan. I don’t read his website. I read here though. He’s STILL harping on on the past? Explaining himself? He still reminds me of the chatty uncle that over analyzes everything and starts every sentence with “Here’s the thing…”.

    Well Danny, here’s the thing. If (big IF) you are going to even try to attempt to win me (and others like me) over, just sing. It’s about the music. And that’s where the $ is. Make an album & let it speak for itself.

  45. Danny should probably hire a media consultant, who would then probably tell him: Don’t explain stuff, just do stuff.

  46. hmmmm, being gay is not a lifestyle, Gokey.

    ITA! Unfortunately it is probably what his church calls it. He doesn’t know any other way to reference it.

  47. I think many of the detractors here are missing the point of Danny’s blog. If you go to Sophia’s Heart Foundation website you will see many inspirational stories. If you read Danny’s bio and the story written about Sophia and her love for children, you may get a better idea of why Danny is sharing his story on the blog. It was not written to change haters minds about him. Danny is just sharing his story in hopes of inspiring others who may be facing difficulties in their lives. It is an amazing story. It took a lot of courage in my opinion to write the blog and Danny seems to be very self aware – admitting his mistakes and saying how “green” he was and still is. I agree with those who say his first blog on the new foundation website should not be about promoting his music. There are other avenues for that and I am looking foward to his new RCA/19 website to be up soon. Looks like he just tweeted that he’s taking pics today for his album and probably his website too.

  48. Danny, the problem isn’t that people don’t understand you. The problem is that people DO understand you!

    I don’t want to say that, despite all the religious and goody-two-shoes stuff, you have an egomaniac side, but you really should stop comparing yourself to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Who’s next — Nelson Mandela or Mother Theresa?

    You were gifted by God with a beautiful and soulful voice. I’m not so sure about a brain.

    Even some of your fans were turned off by your speeches at the AI summer tour concerts. One told me she thought it made you come across as “arrogant or something”, although she was sure this is not your true nature.

    I’m not so sure, but I think she was hoping that you would just shut up and sing.

  49. ~’ certain groups of people whose lifestyles or beliefs were contrary to mine’ 
    Oh Danny, just stop talking.

    If Danny wants to be so honest and straightforward, simply say I had a problem with Adam and him being gay. Maybe Adam need to do that interview on Oprah, and say well I had a problem with a couple of the guys on the show, who had a problem with my “lifestyle choice”.

  50. Ah so it was all too much for a boy to take in. Wait. A boy? Isn’t he pushing 30? This guy left boyhood behind ages ago although I realize his chronological age and maturity level may not go hand in hand.

    Maybe that’s part of his problem. Once you get to be a certain age people expect you to have learned a few things and be able to handle yourself. But Danny doesn’t think he’s at that age and thinks people should give him the same freedom to screw up that you would give to a small child who doesn’t know any better.

    And no, being gay is not some lifestyle choice. He still doesn’t have that one down.

  51. Danny, the problem isn’t that people don’t understand you. The problem is that people DO understand you!

    Well said. I agree.

    If Gokey starts to “walk the walk” that he’s preaching — moving toward his goals and not letting the naysayers bring him down — then he will have made imo tremendous strides. As it is, his focus in this blog tells me he is still just talking the talk… Too much emphasis on the naysayers for me to believe otherwise yet. Sorry Danny boy…

  52. I don’t think that Danny cares about his haters, and he shouldn’t.

    I believe that he was reflecting on his journey of American Idol as a whole in his personal blog on his website. I thought that was what the whole blog was about in general and not just the excerpt posted.

    I don’t think that he wrote that blog so that the haters could see it and rip into him as usual. The intended audience of that blog is his fans. I doubt that Danny thought that blog would end up as a thread on another blog site.

    Danny has been pretty busy lately getting stuff ready for his album and single. Sometimes he goes days without tweeting and when he does Tweet, it’s only like one or two tweets. He’s getting stuff done for his album. He went to the ASCAP country music awards earlier this week and now he is shooting photos for his album.

    His digital team, have been working on his official website and Itunes. He has been spending time with his A&R people. He has recorded at least four songs so far for his album and I believe that Chris Sligh and Phil Stacey have written a song for him. All things he has done in preparation for his album and the release of his upcoming single.

    This blog is just something that he took the time out to write for his fans, not for his haters to criticize. I doubt he sits around worrying about his haters, he’s got an album to put out.

    One if he works hard on and with enough help/promotion for people like Mark Bright and his label he could do well with. Danny is doing his thing, he may hardly ever get any mention of doing these things on regular idol sites/blogs, but he’s been pretty busy. He is doing stuff to get closer to his goals.

    And IMO, his naysayers don’t have the power to bring him down, they never did. All they can mostly do is bash him constantly and give him ridiculous/OTT criticisms. I think that he just has to work hard, and ignore them for the most part, and it looks like he’s doing that.

  53. I think Danny believed everything TPTB told him. Telling Michael Slezak that he had a powerful backstory just was all sorts of wrong to me. That was Danny in a nutshell — exploitation of something so deep and personal on a reality show. No matter how you dress it up, it’s still ugly.

    Danny tells us that he’s made peace with the hate, but I don’t really think he has. It’s over now, but he’s still carrying it.

    I have one question — why is Danny’s twitter background a child from Save The Children or a similiar organization? I realize Sophia’s Heart is a charitable foundation, but I thought it’s charities were primiarily in the Milwaukee area. That picture alone is one example of “using” others’ sufferings to promote himself. Perhaps, I’m way off base here, but that’s my gut reaction.

  54. oh my god not another sermon… Danny you don’t get it. We do not want to be preached to.

  55. And IMO, his naysayers don’t have the power to bring him down, they never did. All they can do is bash him constantly and give him ridiculous/OTT criticisms. I think that he just has to work hard, and ignore them for the most part, and it looks like he’s doing that.

    I’m not sure anyone is trying to assert power over Danny Gokey (heaven forbid!). It’s just that people have free speech, and are more than allowed to voice their disgust at someone else’s message. And, frankly, that’s what’s happening here. There wouldn’t be a personal issue here if he hadn’t acted in a way that people found repulsive, and continues to act in ways that people find repulsive. (That includes writing preachy blog posts, FWIW)

    And, you know, it’s on the internet. A blog is not a diary. He’s obviously projecting to an audience; doesn’t mean he really gets to choose who all that reaches. Frankly, I think his success, to me, is irrelevant. When he’s not being preachy like this (which gets to my gag reflex in the worst way), he’s dead to me, and I don’t really care if he becomes the next Idol superstar. It’s about the message, at the end of the day, that he sends.

  56. Oh Danny. I think he is probably a decent person with some generous and good qualities. However, he is very unsophisticated with limited self awareness and zero — as in nada, nil, ziltch — filter and it makes just about every information sharing session of his cringe worthy.

  57. I think that a Danny fan that is a minister sent Danny that Twitter background because that is an organization that she helps out a lot. It could also be an organization that he supports and contributes to, I’m not sure.

    I believe that SHF is in a partnership with at least one other charitable organization, it might be in partnership with more than one, I don’t know. I don’t think that Danny is using others suffering for his gain.

    Also in response to another post that was just posted, honestly I can understand that people are going to say whatever they want to say about Danny especially on the internet, where a lot of people tend to criticize him a lot. In often very harsh and often cruel ways.

    But I think that the majority of people in general don’t have a problem/don’t hate him and that they won’t end up hating him/having a problem with him.

    I doubt that most people in general would have a problem with the blog he posted. Just like most people in general wouldn’t have a problem with most of the stuff he’s said/did. It tends to be the very vocal amount of haters that he has on the internet, that tend to have a problem with just about everything that he does.

    And that IMO, tend to blow almost everything he does/says out of proportion. But I believe in reality those people are really the minority, when compared to most people in general.

    So I am not worried about most people viewing Danny in that way or thinking that he is constantly sending out negative “messages”, like his haters on the Internet act like he does. If I really thought that most people in general viewed Danny that way or would view him that way. I would be pretty concerned for him. But I don’t think that’s going on or will happen. I think that he has a good chance of being successful and doing decently and as a fan of him those things matter to me.

  58. I believe that Danny has good intentions in regards to this foundation. And I think he’s more naive and clueless than anything else.

    But when I read this blog, all I could see was “I…I…I…I…me….me….me….me…me…me….my….my….my….my”

    Danny really needs to get himself a p.r. person, because he comes off as a total egotist who has a tendency to stick his foot in his mouth on a regular basis.

    I was never much of a fan of his and I don’t like country music, and I still think he was basically forced into a style of music he had listen interest in prior to 4 months ago. Still, I wish him luck in his future career. He obviously has a strong fanbase that doesn’t seem upset or worried about how can can come across and who love his voice. Me, I have no interest in being preached to by Danny (or anyone else thanks very much) — and I’m sorry, but most of the times I hear him speak or see an interview with him, that’s how I feel.

  59. I didn’t read the blog but the excerpt is pretty long and there MORE.

    I liked Danny in concert, I have no real feelings one way or the other about him now. He hardly cross my mind unless he tweets something.

  60. I doubt that Danny thought that blog would end up as a thread on another blog site.

    Even a 12 year old would know that that’s exactly what’s going to happen. So, Danny’s a bit naive or maybe just a moron.

    I don’t think that Danny cares about his haters, and he shouldn’t.

    That is perfect, as I do not care about him.

    Ugh, I had comments in my head, and then I decided that I just really didn’t want to expend that much energy on Danny. I’m over him. Just happy he’s no longer tarnishing my favorite show.

    Since I don’t live in Wisconsin, I should be pretty successful at avoiding him. Here’s hoping his road to obscurity is a short one.

  61. Just because Danny comes across poorly a lot of the time, doesn’t make those who react negatively to his behavior or comments “haters.”

  62. lucy
    October 22, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Danny should probably hire a media consultant, who would then probably tell him: Don’t explain stuff, just do stuff.

    and

    girlygirl
    October 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I believe that Danny has good intentions in regards to this foundation. And I think he’s more naive and clueless than anything else.

    But when I read this blog, all I could see was ‘I’ ¦I’ ¦I’ ¦I’ ¦me’ ¦.me’ ¦.me’ ¦.me’ ¦me’ ¦me’ ¦.my’ ¦.my’ ¦.my’ ¦.my’ 

    Danny really needs to get himself a p.r. person, because he comes off as a total egotist who has a tendency to stick his foot in his mouth on a regular basis.

    I really didn’t want to read his blog entry. But as I stated in my tour review (gosh, so many moons ago!), I had come to respect his talent if not his personality. So I read it. Am I the only one who cringed at the bad grammar, ambiguous sentences, and incorrect word usage? Look, I’m not saying he needs to have a BA in English – that’s not my point. My point (and I do have one, really) is that he is writing on a website for a non-profit, and wants to give a good impression. This blog entry does little to further that impression. As others have noted, instead it shows him to be lacking in self-awareness and social graces, portrays him as an egotist, and drags up things that should really be left in the past.

    Yes, he needs help from a media consultant, PR specialist, etc. But having someone proofread your first major piece of writing (blog or not, it’s published and widely accessible) is critical. Skipping that step, he comes across as unprofessional and green. (Oh, and Danny, as an example: it’s either “green” or “wet behind the ears,” not “green behind the ears.” Are you growing herbs back there?)

    I know someone will say I’m nitpicking, and maybe I am. But he is not a boy. He is a 29 year old man who didn’t grow up in a cave, no matter how naive he wants us to believe he is. I admire his ambition, but would prefer he declare it for what it is. Have a non-profit, sure. I wish him well with it. But just like many of us questioned the way he handled his first scholarship (lack of detail surrounding what criteria the finalists had to meet in order to qualify, for one), I still question how he plans to manage the foundation and his singing career without seeming like he’s using one to work the other.

    Danny – If you do google your name and come across this, I do wish you well. But getting professional guidance to get both projects off the ground and shape your image is not an option – do not wait.

  63. “I think that a Danny fan that is a minister sent Danny that Twitter background because that is an organization that she helps out a lot. It could also be an organization that he supports and contributes to, I’m not sure. ” — Jx223

    Well, if that’s the case, I think Danny should put the organizations name on the twitter background along with the picture, if his intent is to promote the organization for his minister friend.

  64. While Danny may need a little media training (and admitted so himself), I find his honesty about himself and his goals refreshing. People these days are too concerned with everything being so PC, and that can get boring fast. Personally, I found his blog very touching and honest, and didn’t get the slightest sense of egotism or preachiness from it. I think Danny is just a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, sometimes a little too much, and says what he feels, and doesn’t try to be PC about everything. But honestly, what has Danny ever said that’s that bad anyway? He has a good heart, and I believe good intentions, and like someone else said, has accomplished more in just one year than most people will accomplish in a lifetime.

    Danny is green, but that’s okay. I don’t think he seems overly obsessed with converting those who hate him, and googling himself does not mean he’s an egotist–it means he’s human. I think most people would do the same, they would be curious about what people were saying. The difference between Danny and most people is that he admits to doing this, which makes him seem more human and accessible than most other celebrities, who seem so “above” the rest of us peons.

    I think Danny has learned a lot about himself, and he’s just sharing what he learned. If you can get something out of it, that’s great, but he’s not insisting you do. The blog, as someone pointed out, was not written for the public; it was written for his fans. I’m sure he isn’t dumb enough to not realize the haters would find it and attack it, but he probably doesn’t care, since it wasn’t written for them, and all in all,he’s had a pretty good attitude and even a sense of humor about all the hate that’s come down on him. Most people would have gone insane, but Danny seems to have become more self-aware. He amazes me with how he seems to be able to learn something valuable from any sort of adversity that comes his way.

    And besides, he’s a damned good singer, and I think during the tour, he really learned how to use his voice properly and put on a good show. He has a unique ability to emotionally engage an audience in a way few idol contestants ever have. I’m looking forward to his album, and I’m not even a fan of country music.

    My only criticism of his blog is the grammatical/spelling errors. He really could use a copy editor. But there’s nothing wrong with his message or anything he has to say. I’m sure if anyone else wrote that it would not be so heavily criticized, but because it’s DANNY, it has to be bad.

  65. I’ve been away for awhile, but I haven’t forgotten about my idol favorites. I just had swine flu, a two year old with swine flu, a copperhead snake in my house, lived in hotels for two weeks, no Internet access where I am, blah, blah, blah.

    At any rate, I didn’t really find anything objectionable about Danny’s blog. I personally thought it was interesting to read his feelings on the matter. I don’t believe for a second that the average person who happened upon this blog would find anything to gripe about. When it comes to Danny, I really believe his “punishment” always far exceeds any “crime” he may have committed. You can take just about anyone’s words and pick them apart and make them seem a heck of alot worse than they are. And that’s what I always see happening to Danny.

    Quite frankly, as a fan of both Danny and Adam, I found Adam’s Details interview to be WAY more off putting than anything that Danny said in his blog. Sure, I still like Adam, but if that interview was all I had to go on about him, I probably wouldn’t.

    Bottom line: If you already don’t like someone, and you read their blog entry, you are going to find something wrong with it. You are coming in with a negative view. If you like someone, you read things with the most positive view, and if you still find it objectionable, you just forgive them for it, like I did Adam.

    At any rate, AI blog posters can say what they like about Danny creating this “hate” for himself, but I have never met any American Idol veiwer in the real world(does not go to AI sites online) who didn’t have a positive view of Danny, whether he was their favorite or not. This tells me that people are highly influenced by what they are reading online. I sometimes wonder how I would view Danny if I hadn’t started reading AI blogs this year until late April. I had solidly formed my views on the contestants by then, and was shocked and baffled to find out that so many online were so extremely negative about him. If I had been online the entire season, I wonder if Danny would have been one of my favorites in the end. Would all the negativity have driven me away from him? I’d like to think not, but who knows?

    At any rate, I’m ready for Danny’s album. I hope he gets some good music, because in the end, that’s what’s going to matter.

  66. I have never met any American Idol veiwer in the real world(does not go to AI sites online) who didn’t have a positive view of Danny, whether he was their favorite or not. This tells me that people are highly influenced by what they are reading online.

    You and all the American Idol viewers you are claiming to know “in the real world” must have just arrived on the planet in a space ship.

    Danny — Danny — Danny is a phony — phony — phony.

    And his rambling, ego-driven diatribe at the top of the page is baloney — baloney — baloney!

  67. I don’t see any mention on the Sophia’s Heart website who is running this charity. Who is the CEO? Who is the CFO? Are they responsible to a board of directors? With a revamped website, you’d think they would make that clear.

  68. I agree with an earlier post-why should Danny shut up? It’s his blog on his foundation’s website-he can speak about whatever he wants as often as he likes. This blog was meant for an audience that is interested in his foundation and what he has to say-not for those who don’t care (or who claim that they don’t care). I get the sense that he couldn’t care less what his detractors think at this point. I do think there was a time when he did care, but I don’t think that’s the case anymore.

  69. pj…

    I have many of the same concerns…like what portion of the donations are used for administrative expenses and salaries.

  70. So let me get this straight, Danny is so over all the mean stuff he saw and read, that he needed to make a big post detailing about it and him and how it hurt him? I don’t know, doesn’t seem very over it, to me.

    And this was on a page about this charity, yet he’s talking about himself and his feelings about 90% of the time? Okay then.

    Also, different “lifestyles,” makes me kind of cranky. Let me amend that, really cranky.

    The boy is not kidding, he needs some PR help and yes, still has a ways to go because with entries like this, all it does is remind me why I didn’t like him on the show. That being said, I did like his voice on the show and hope he does well with his country career.

    I do think he would be best served to really getting over the internet chatter and start making a really good country album. And making this charity be more visible with who is in charge, what they spend their money on, etc., would also be a good thing. I don’t fault or doubt Danny’s caring about this charity or where his heart is about it, but how the lack of transparency about this charity, is worrisome. Not through any fault of Danny’s, but because charities are tough. So I hope for his sake, that he works that out, too.

  71. I don’t know what is in Danny’s heart in regards to the charity- I have no reason to think he’s not sincere. That post should be a myspace rant or something, not posted on the website of a fledgling charity. I think he’s getting some bad advice when it comes to Sophia’s Heart, and that makes me question who runs the organization. I know Danny is too busy to handle the details… he was on AI, the tour, and now recording. Not to mention he doesn’t have any experience in foundation work. Just seems a risky place to send money, especially when there are lots of other organizations out there doing good work.

  72. Kudos to Danny!
    I thought his blog (which was certainly appropriate on the website of a charity that he is the president of!) was very honest, touching and just Danny. There are actually people who may visit SHF that don’t know anything about the whole AI journey and find it informative.
    I don’t think he should blog about his album on his charity site; there are other avenues for that.
    Could have done without the spelling errors, but agree with the poster above who said because it is Danny, a small but very vocal minority will criticize him no matter what he does (which he is obviously aware of since he even stated some people will hate you no matter what you do. So true.)
    Danny is a true inspiration to the children he so selflessly champions; teaching them to never give up and persevere, no matter what nasty things people say about you, or tragedy befalls you. And to give of yourself to help others, which our society could always improve at. Most of his blog was directed at helping others (the “LOVE Rebellion”); I disagree that it was egocentric.
    I would be elated if my children grew up to have the “flaws” Danny has; he is talented, kind even to his haters, hard working and very concerned about making this world a better place.

  73. Am I the only one who cringed at the bad grammar, ambiguous sentences, and incorrect word usage? Look, I’m not saying he needs to have a BA in English ‘“ that’s not my point. My point (and I do have one, really) is that he is writing on a website for a non-profit, and wants to give a good impression. This blog entry does little to further that impression. As others have noted, instead it shows him to be lacking in self-awareness and social graces, portrays him as an egotist, and drags up things that should really be left in the past.

    I also cringed at the poor writing. I’m not claiming to write better, but when I put up a website for my business, I had others critique the writing, check for typos, make corrections, etc. Danny should have done the same.

    I want to like Danny. Really, I want to. I think that his voice could sound great with the right songs. (Obviously, Dream On wasn’t the right song. ). But, the blog didn’t win me over. It’s on the website for a charity, so it should have been about the charity, not all about him. It shouldn’t have been quite so vague. What does this mean?

    “Sophia’s Heart – It’s not a political movement, and it’s not a religious movement’ ¦it’s a love movement. ”

    If I’m donating money somewhere, I need to have a better description of the charity, and calling it a “love movement” doesn’t convince me that I should send money there. Why not align himself with an already established charity? What is unique about this “love movement”, and what are they really doing with the money sent to them? Who is in charge of the charity and “love movement”? (The last I heard, it seemed that it was all family members. Hopefully, they now have other people, who have a background in running a charity, on board.)

    If, as he says, he was so unprepared for being on AI, how do we know that he is any better prepared for running a charity, and won’t be making lots of mistakes there, too?

    The phrase “love movement” reminds me of the sixties, so I’m stuck with image of Danny moving to a commune, learning more about “lifestyle choices”, and emerging a different person. Could “Burning Man” be in his future?

  74. Danny, Danny, Danny. You are not Mother Teresa. Please stick to singing. If you want to do charitable work, more power to you, but so far I see more promotion of your career through your foundation than the reverse.

    Take a lesson from David Cook. When he used “Permanent” to raise money for cancer research, he got everyone, including himself, to donate their royalties to the ABC2d foundation.

  75. Please. Just because you quote Mother Teresa or Martin Luther King, does not mean you think that you are them. It means you admire them, or their actions, or their words.

    I don’t know if Danny is totally over all of the hate on the Internet. He may or may not be. It would be hard to totally get over it, I suppose.

    My take is that *most* of the people that have invested so much time in criticizing Danny are not going to let it go no matter what he says or does. They read that blog, and they see themselves. They have to keep Danny as the “bad guy.” It’s easier that way.

    You and all the American Idol viewers you are claiming to know ‘in the real world’  must have just arrived on the planet in a space ship.

    I actually know and have met plenty of AI veiwers. These people have not spent the last nine months reading negative stuff about Danny online. Their perception is totally different. I’m sure they would think that we, who spend so much time online reading about AI and obsessing over the contestants, are the ones from “another planet.”

  76. And besides, he’s a damned good singer

    he has a good voice but he is not a good singer.

  77. Many raise questions about where the money from SHF goes, which is puzzling to me, since its stated on the site. If you really do want to know, and are not just raising questions to detract I recommend visiting the website; some recent accomplishments include partnering with an early childhood development school, scholarships (with full criteria listed for eligibility, as well as the stories of the 3 recent winners), $5000 in donations to two community organizations that service the homeless, and providing an apartment to a single mother and her children who lost their home.
    It also speaks of the larger vision they are working toward and saving toward; a center for the arts, which will help children at risk develop their talent and find their passion.
    The love movement he speaks of is portrayed as small acts of kindness and being involved yourself-giving some time on a daily or weekly basis. Which is not odd or strange advice at all IMO!
    Danny used his wife’s insurance money to found this charity in her name; as a legacy to her. I think its pretty difficult to find legitimate fault with those actions.

  78. since when did it become un-pc to reference “alternative lifestyles?” that’s what everyone called anything other than 2 heteros, 2 kids and a white picket fence for as long as i can remember. he shouldn’t really get too caught up with words. words are not all that important. deeds are.

  79. I’m not a fan of the man or his vocals/singing (but then, I didn’t like Michael McDonald or Michael Bolton in their heydays either), but the criticism here goes more than a bit overboard.

    Besides his church work, isn’t he a truck driver by trade? While it might sound “class”-ist of me, I just wonder why ppl are expecting so much worldliness from a young short-haul truck driver?

    I wonder how Gokey feels whenever ppl mention Kradison, or when magazines & products feature Kradison but not him. It must kinda suck.

    ETA: I wonder how much Adam raised with DonorsChoice.org vs Danny with SHF?

  80. Many raise questions about where the money from SHF goes, which is puzzling to me, since its stated on the site. If you really do want to know, and are not just raising questions to detract I recommend visiting the website; some recent accomplishments include partnering with an early childhood development school, scholarships (with full criteria listed for eligibility, as well as the stories of the 3 recent winners), $5000 in donations to two community organizations that service the homeless, and providing an apartment to a single mother and her children who lost their home.

    Saw where some of it’s going. But the rest? Is it unfair for people to question the percentages? How much is raised vs. how much is used for administrative costs? I think that’s a valid concern to anyone considering donating.

    Personaly, I questioned the leadership of the organization. Who’s in charge? Are they being held accountable to a board? Do they know what they’re doing? What are their qualifications? I think that’s a valid concern and anyone considering donating should consider these things!

    What is wrong with that? There are plenty of places that exist that need funds, especially in this economy. If I’m not confidant in an organization, I’m not going to give to it. I’m very suspicious that they have no board that holds them accountable. As far as we know, it could be Preacher Rolex, and yes, I would have a problem if he were heavily involved.

    I am not questioning Danny’s motives — just that he’s also “green behind the ears” when it comes to running a foundation. I understand the need to do something in his wife’s honor. I also understand the value of using celebrity to promote giving. I’m not covinced he’s going about it in the right way. Other Idols have done a good job lending their names to organizations without needing it to to be theirs… Elliott Yamin, Ace Young, David Cook, Adam Lambert… no doubt there are more. Bo Bice let Katrina victims move into his old house in Alabama after he moved to Nashville. So many examples. Just a thought… perhaps not reinventing the wheel is a good idea.

    Full disclosure — I’m not going to give to Sophia’s Heart when/if Danny gets his act together and lets us know who’s running the charity and if they have to report to a board of directors. I already have my favorite charities (one of which is local, helps kids, has a board and sends me annual reports ;-)) I still think Danny owes that to his fans/donors.

    ETA: I wonder how much Adam raised with DonorsChoice.org vs Danny with SHF?

    I’m sure you could find out how much Adam raised using google. It was transparent and not HIS organization, but something already established. You can’t find out how much Danny raised because he’s not saying! See above.

    ETA: Here’s the info on Adam and Donor’s Choice, including the amounts.

    http://www.donorschoose.org/adam-lambert

    Notice the accrediting logos for the charity, too.

  81. I like Danny more and more. He strikes me as an innocent-hearted guy who gets a lot of unfair criticism (and yes sometimes hate).

    It makes me cringe to think he read through all the online comments that were put out there. I have never seen any Idol in any season more harshly, unfairly and cruelly treated by the online community (that’s just my subjective opinion).

    I admire that he’s managed to keep optimistic and upbeat in the face of all that, and I wish him luck in his career going forward. I still think that he is this season’s Daughtry in the sense that I think he has a big fanbase, quite a bit of talent, and was voted off earlier than expected, and I think that although many in the online community have written him off he will be the contestant from this season is a ‘surprise’ success.

    I have only bought one country album before (Bucky Covington, and that was because there was a lot of southern rock on it) but I will buy Danny’s album because I think he’s a good guy with a lot of talent.

  82. Danny is not going to have a major career in music (or charitable work, for that matter) unless he learns to speak or write publicly without sticking his foot in his mouth. That blog post might have been appropriate for him to post on an official fan site or MySpace. It was not appropriate for the website of a charitable foundation, especially one that hopes to expand its support beyond his existing fanbase.

    I’m on the boards of three charitable organizations, and there are a LOT of internal controls that must be complied with in order to qualify for 401(c) tax status, and to assure people that the money they donate will be used primarily for charitable works. You can’t get money from major foundations — which is essential to smaller charities — without those internal controls.

    People and organizations outside his existing fanbase aren’t going to just trust him with their money, no matter how good his intentions are.

  83. Danny’s charitable foundation has received donations from a major US insurance company and several high-visibility sports personalities in Milwaukee, to mention just those that are publicly known. I feel quite sure an insurance company, especially, would have done due diligence inquiries before investing money. Danny has said they have an accountant for the foundation. It’s a new activity, and probably will not be completing a full annual statement until the end of this year.

    ETA: I wonder how much Adam raised with DonorsChoice.org vs Danny with SHF?

    It’s a little icky for me personally to compare charitable endeavors as if they are sports contests, but I believe both have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable goals already. That’s admirable for both of them.
    The difference I see is that Adam is using his celebrity to raise funds, and doing quite well with it for a good cause although in a less personal way. Danny is investing his time and talent in a more personal charity, which makes sense considering the close association to his late wife and religious beliefs. In the short run anyway, his charity also is probably disbursing less in cash grants thus far, as they want to set up a sustainable music and arts center for disadvantaged youth in Milwaukee–which will require a facility and other investments. I have no problem with either approach. They are both admirable, just different reflecting where the individuals in question are coming from.
    We also learned eventually from an LA Times journalist/blogger that Danny (& Michael Sarver) were volunteering quite a bit of their very limited off-duty time during the AI season at a homeless shelter. They come from a faith background where hands-on charity is highly encouraged. Not everyone is brought up with that idea. I personally come more from a family history where charity is supported with a check. I hope financial donations I provide to different charities do a lot of good, but regardless, I totally respect those with the ability and interest to be more hands-on, and who can give that much of themselves trying to help others.

  84. The point is not who has raised more money, Adam or Danny? The point is whatever money Adam has raised, where it has gone to and is going to is completely transparent in the DonorsChoose website. As for Danny, where the heck is all the money going? I saw him give 1,000 dollars each to three students during the tour but that’s it. If he has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, where has it all gone to?

  85. I actually know and have met plenty of AI veiwers [sic]. These people have not spent the last nine months reading negative stuff about Danny online. Their perception is totally different.

    Being online is not the requirement you think it is to think Danny is a flawed AI contestant. I know people who don’t even have a computer who were turned off by him. You think that everyone who is not an invested fan of Danny’s, who says anything remotely negative, is a hater. That is not true.

    And just what was it that turned so many thousands or millions of people off to Danny? You have so many things to choose from: the fact that the show tried to push a sob story to promote a contestant instead of his alleged talent; Danny’s unnerving condescending smirks; his holier-than-thou attitude; his failure to live up to the hype…and dozens more. Take your pick.

    But what you’re implying is that anyone who is not a card-carrying fan of Danny is a potential hater, and anyone who doesn’t praise him with utter abandon, or says something remotely negative, is a hater. That’s just not true.

    There are so many insensitive Danny apologists out there who are shocked that everyone is not marching in locked step with them as they worship their hero…

    And you Danny apologists always blame the Internet, as if it were a rude unruly child who can’t be made to knuckle under and accept the party line, which is that Danny is perfect and incapable of fault of any sort… you Danny apologists will not even admit the most glaring truths about the guy, and want to silence any criticism of him. When Danny drops names like Martin Luther King, Jr., or Mother Theresa, you don’t wonder why he is a name dropper. You just want to silence the people who are raising these annoying questions! Your worship of the guy is total…

  86. Danny’s charitable foundation has received donations from a major US insurance company and several high-visibility sports personalities in Milwaukee, to mention just those that are publicly known. I feel quite sure an insurance company, especially, would have done due diligence inquiries before investing money. Danny has said they have an accountant for the foundation. It’s a new activity, and probably will not be completing a full annual statement until the end of this year.

    I appreciate your post. I am not sure about the insurance company, but remember a few Packers donating 100K. I also think that was quite awhile back, when the Idols were hot. I’m not saying they didn’t do their due dilligence. Perhaps, but they may have done it for publicity, too. My point is that I don’t want want a football player endorsing a charity’s financials. I want to know who’s running the joint. I think that has been a consistant criticism from the start and it is still not on the website. I’m pretty sure they know it’s a concern and they still aren’t putting that on their site. So why?

  87. Danny’s charity mentions several different focus areas. The main vision seems to be music and arts, to create a facility to run ongoing programs for disadvantaged youth. They also want to perform smaller “acts of compassion” which include things like academic scholarships and grants to local charities or people needing help with medical and other personal crises. There are some nice photos up at the foundation website this weekend of Danny, his wife’s sister, and his wife’s brother-in-law providing grants to local charities in Milwaukee. Good for them. Danny has mentioned an independent accountant who is working with the foundation, presumably to account for the funds and prepare required financial disclosures once they get through their first full year of operations (still months away).
    Not all charities necessarily publish their financial data and other details online. Looking briefly on the Donors Choose site, if they have financial statements out for public view they are not really jumping out at me. They have a lot of good information on that site, and I would not question that it seems to be a worthwhile organization. They don’t however explain very clearly their administrative overhead that more than likely comes off the top before funds are passed through to specific schools.

  88. The insurance company was Northwestern Mutual (Financial Network (?)), which held an annual convention or something like that in Milwaukee. Danny went down on a break during the AI Tour to perform at the private event, I guess similar to Kris appearing at the Walmart corporate gig.

    At the event, NWFN presented a $10,000 corporate check to Danny for Sophia’s Heart Foundation. The check presentation is in the youtubes from Danny’s performances at that event. Danny seemed very touched by the support. SHF also received a sizable grant from one of the Milwaukee pro football players who has his own charitable foundation in that area. That was included in local Fox station coverage of an event Danny attended with Habitat for Humanity during the early summer. I don’t think either of those would have taken place without some due diligence on behalf of the insurance company, or the football player and his own foundation.

  89. hmmmm, being gay is not a lifestyle, Gokey.

    ITA! Unfortunately it is probably what his church calls it. He doesn’t know any other way to reference it.

    I think this is stupid.

    If he really wants to get all his thoughts out once and for all regarding the Adam drama, he should say it straight. “People thought I had a problem with Adam being gay.” Otherwise, it’s just more wishy washy politically correct speech that doesn’t accomplish anything. Except for rile some people up because of his word choice in saying “lifestyle” instead of “orientation.”

    There’s no point for him doing this except for to let his feelings out and have a last ditch attempt to have everyone ~forgive~ him. It doesn’t accomplish anything because it’s just one more statement from Danny about the same topic he’s addressed a lot of times, written in such a vague way that 1) he can’t really be attacked over it but 2) It won’t really change people’s minds about anything. He shouldn’ve just let it be and actually blogged about Sophia’s Heart and his new album.

    That said, I appreciate the fact that this blog post is mostly grammatically correct and coherent.

  90. Steph, I see a lot of financial info on donorschoice that I don’t see on Sophia’s Heart. I see how much money is going where. Yes, not a full financial statement, but something to digest. I also see the people who run the organization and can be held responsible. Why is that such a hard concept? Check out “Our Team” or “Board of Directors” or “National Advisory Council.” Bios of everyone. I’m too tired to look and see if their financials are public. I am gonna guess the endoresements are enough.

    Sophie’s Heart lists no one. Not a single person. Why?

    BTW… 10K for an insurance company is small change. Publicity for sure.

    If Danny keeps up his association with Habitat for Humanity, I’ll be impressed.

  91. Legit question regarding organization staffing and board of director lack of names.

    My guess is that this foundation is staffed by relatives of Sophia which is understandable being that this is created in her memory. I can’t see this organizaton becoming national in scope but more founded for local people in Milwaukee to benefit. It’s not really comparable to Donorschoice other than they are both charities of some sort.

  92. They don’t however explain very clearly their administrative overhead that more than likely comes off the top before funds are passed through to specific schools.

    Each DonorsChoose project clearly lists “operating costs” in the Project Details and Costs. This “supports the labor performed by DonorsChoose.org”; it’s “18% of the total project cost”.

  93. Reminder:

    I’m deleting off-topic posts. That is, if you aren’t talking about Danny, you are OFF TOPIC.

    Please don’t discuss the thread or criticize or comment on posters..

  94. SHF will have to file a 990 which will be a publicly available document, either from the IRS or the organization. I don’t see any point in running around the mulberry bush on this – the pertinent information will be available at that point, and in the meantime, anyone who is not confident in the organization or interested in its goals certainly should make their charitable contributions elsewhere. pj, I also think it would be nice to see info about the team, but just because their names are not on the website doesn’t mean that they aren’t legally responsible. I expect that Danny will continue to improve the site over time, and I think that he will ensure that SHF complies with regulations that ensure that the public has access to information that it has the right to have when making these decisions. I guess it’s not optional, really, if they want to retain their status, which I’m sure they would.

    Are there any types of country songs out there, that you could see Danny singing?

    Hi Jx223! I hope I haven’t missed you, this is a very interesting question. I wasn’t familiar with the songs that you listed, so I listened to them on youtube. I liked the “Red Light” one, I agree that something like that would be good for Danny. I thought that the Due West one was kind of similar to the Rascal Flatts types of songs, and those work for him. The Lady Antebellum is a nice song but I don’t think it’s the type of song that would really leverage his strengths.

    I don’t know the modern country music landscape well enough to speak in terms of current artists/songs that are the types of things that I’d like to hear from him. But there are two areas that I think of for him, each of which focuses on one of his great strengths. One is his ability to deliver songs that inspire the heart or touch deep emotions, the “I Hope you Dance” and “I Wish” kinds of things.

    The other area is one that would leverage that bluesy/husky quality that he has that so many people love. I really like a lot of music that’s at the intersection of rock music and country. A lot of Southern rock, which sometimes has a great blues influence as well. Danny is not going to even try to sell an “outlaw” persona like a lot of those boys do, but I think it would be great if he would kind of explore this neighborhood to see what might work for him, since it would be a great way to show off that voice. Maybe a sound in the neighborhood of Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page”. Turn up the blues element and it might sound kind of like the Fabulous Thunderbirds “Tuff Enuff”. Turn it way up and it might have aspects that are reminiscent of something like Robert Cray’s “Smoking Gun”. I’m not suggesting that these songs would be good for Danny, or that they’re what’s currently considered “radio friendly”. But I think this kind of sound is where Danny could really blow the roof off, and could be positioned reasonably well on a country album. I want him to mix it up, and go for some complexity in his work…I don’t want it to ever turn into “oh, here’s another tearjerker from Danny”. Just some random thoughts there!

    Here’s the Fabulous Thunderbirds for you, in case you don’t know them (I lhave always really liked this song).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxBx0nfRp9s

    p.s. aek, I’m so glad that you’re better!

  95. The website of Danny’s Sophias Heart is still a work in progress; after all it is a very young fledgling organization. They may very well list the employees in the future. It must have been listed elsewhere, since the following are not “secret”
    I know the paid staff is very small; it is an organization devoted to keeping administration costs small (so many charitable organizations eat up a significant proportion of donated $$ with these) and relying on volunteers and grass roots organization in the future.
    Danny Gokey is the president- He is an unpaid CEO (Danny has never received any compensation from SHF).
    Ivan Santiago is the Vice president. I believe he is Sophia’s brother.
    Hsing Liu is another staff member; seems to be in charge of correspondence.
    There are two more staff members, but I’m not sure if they are paid positions- another family member (I believe its Sophia’s sister) and an unrelated web technical guy.
    The website does not seem complete yet. It would be nice to have personal faces behind this ambitious organization and I would imagine that is one of the items they would add in the future.
    Good Luck to SHF and to Danny both! I admire Danny for spending so much of his free time on charitable pursuits before; during and after AI.

  96. I’ve been away for awhile, but I haven’t forgotten about my idol favorites. I just had swine flu, a two year old with swine flu, a copperhead snake in my house, lived in hotels for two weeks, no Internet access where I am, blah, blah, blah.

    At any rate, I didn’t really find anything objectionable about Danny’s blog. I personally thought it was interesting to read his feelings on the matter. I don’t believe for a second that the average person who happened upon this blog would find anything to gripe about. When it comes to Danny, I really believe his ‘punishment’  always far exceeds any ‘crime’  he may have committed. You can take just about anyone’s words and pick them apart and make them seem a heck of alot worse than they are. And that’s what I always see happening to Danny.

    Quite frankly, as a fan of both Danny and Adam, I found Adam’s Details interview to be WAY more off putting than anything that Danny said in his blog. Sure, I still like Adam, but if that interview was all I had to go on about him, I probably wouldn’t.

    Bottom line: If you already don’t like someone, and you read their blog entry, you are going to find something wrong with it. You are coming in with a negative view. If you like someone, you read things with the most positive view, and if you still find it objectionable, you just forgive them for it, like I did Adam.

    At any rate, AI blog posters can say what they like about Danny creating this ‘hate’  for himself, but I have never met any American Idol veiwer in the real world(does not go to AI sites online) who didn’t have a positive view of Danny, whether he was their favorite or not. This tells me that people are highly influenced by what they are reading online. I sometimes wonder how I would view Danny if I hadn’t started reading AI blogs this year until late April. I had solidly formed my views on the contestants by then, and was shocked and baffled to find out that so many online were so extremely negative about him. If I had been online the entire season, I wonder if Danny would have been one of my favorites in the end. Would all the negativity have driven me away from him? I’d like to think not, but who knows?

    At any rate, I’m ready for Danny’s album. I hope he gets some good music, because in the end, that’s what’s going to matter.

    Hey aek. :) I hope that you are feeling better. I agree with your posts as always. I too am definitely awaiting more news of Danny’s album. I am glad to hear about things like him having a photoshoot for his album. I am definitely excited and interested to hear his single, and about other stuff that will be happening.

  97. I’m with MJ on this; Lets hear more about the album!

    Props to Gokey for attempting to do good in this world; can’t really fault the guy for that. We should all talk less and do more. Even though he talks too much sometimes, he obviously tries to follow through with action.

    I’m more interested in his music. Not impressed so far with what has been put out from season 8 (officially and unofficially). Hopefully the upcoming albums will be better.

  98. Just a quick word on charitable foundations here for those of you wondering “where the money went.”

    A charitable foundation like the one Danny has set up is only required to distribute 5% of the assets each year for charitable purposes. This distribution is required only after the expenses of the foundation are met. So, if SHF has several employees who are receiving a salary, the required charitable distribution may be small each year.

    SHF may well have taken in several hundred thousand dollars already (or maybe much more), but after expenses, required distributions may be minimal. The purpose of the minimum required distribution is to allow the foundation to continue to exist over time without depleting all of its assets.

    When the markets go down, and the assets in the foundation decrease, the size of the distributions will decrease. The IRS scrutinizes these organizations, and they generally will apply for non profit status vis a vis the IRS.

    Charitable foundations do a world of good, but it is possible to set them up, put the entire family on the pay roll, and in effect spend more of the foundation money on expenses and family than on the required yearly distributions. That’s why it is important to inquire about operating expenses prior to donating to a foundation such as SHF. You want to make sure it’s not just a front for the family business.

    The IRS does have oversight to some degree, and can revoke the organization’s tax exempt status if the behavior at the charitable foundation is improper, but caution is warranted.

    I’m not implying in any way that Danny’s organization has excessive administrative costs or that it is set up for the purpose of putting the family on the payroll, I’m just trying to explain how these things work and why only a small amount of money may have been distributed already.

    For such a foundation to operate successfully, there really needs to be at least several million dollars in it.

    Foundations are great, but in reality, the money that is going into SHF is probably money that would have gone to another charitable endeavor. All the foundations out there compete for funding and gifts from wealthy charitably inclined folks.

    There are already MANY charitable foundations in the US.

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