More On Danny Gokey’s Nashville Meetings

Brian Mansfield of Idol Chatter reports a little more on Danny Gokey’s meetings with record labels last week. Not only did he meet with Sony Nashville, but also with Word, a Christan Label:

When Danny Gokey was in Nashville this past Tuesday, he met not only with Sony Nashville but with Word Entertainment. But Danny has yet to make a decision about his recording career. “Basically, they were preliminary talks — where we could go and what we could do.”

The meeting with Word put Danny in touch with Mark Bright. He’s Word’s president and CEO, but he’s better known as a producer who has worked with Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts. “He’s someone I’m very interested in working with, ” Danny says.

The only problem — Bright runs a Christian record label. “I told him, ‘I don’t want to be signed to a Christian label, because I don’t want to exclude anyone, ‘” Danny says. “I am who I am and I have my beliefs, but I don’t want to exclude anyone. I want my music and my message and my foundation to get out and touch as many people as they can.

“He was completely okay with that. He was like, ‘We can think in alternate routes.’ It was really cool.”

So, Danny could wind up on a Christian label, but not singing Christian music? Hm. Maybe an album of vaguely Christian “inspirational” music?   In any event, the music Danny records will likely depend on what label signs him.

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Although Danny has expressed interest in songwriting in the past, he’ll be singing mostly outside material on this first CD. “I’m not fully there yet in my writing skills, ” says Danny. “There’s a level of writing that are just hits. I’m not there yet.”

Danny continues, “I want to be a hit. This ain’t about the money. I know I can make more money writing, but it’s not about that yet. That’ll come. I’m looking for longevity. I’m looking to get my foot all the way through the door.”

ETA: I think he’ll be better off with Word doing Christian music.   He’s admitted to a) Not having a “twang” in his voice and b) Not knowing about the Grand Ole’ Opry before Idol.   Country fans can smell a poser from a mile away. Danny, an experienced gospel singer, should stick to what he knows.

About mj santilli 33696 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!

86 Comments

  1. 19E hooking up with Word Entertainment? That would be a first for them to go outside of Sony BMG’s umbrella…

  2. Good luck to him. The situation at the moment proves my point that TPTB never really wanted him.

  3. Danny continues, ‘I want to be a hit. This ain’t about the money. I know I can make more money writing, but it’s not about that yet. That’ll come. I’m looking for longevity. I’m looking to get my foot all the way through the door.’ 

    Maybe this was just out of context, but it seems like, for Danny, the whole point of writing your own songs is so you can make more money off of them, as opposed to really making music and singing songs that come from you.

  4. I really wish he would stop talking. He seems more and more full of himself, every.single.time.

  5. As much as I would like Danny to sing mainstream music, something tells me that Mark Bright at Word would be much more invested in Danny and take better care of him. I just don’t get warm fuzzies from Sony Nashville and especially 19E. They have screwed over so many Idols in the past. They rush through their albums, throw them out there and if they don’t sell well right away, they drop them. I see why this is a touch decision for Danny. My gut tells me he should go with Word Records.

    Mark Bright, the Nashville producer whose credits include multi-platinum albums by Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood, has accepted a position as president and CEO of Word Entertainment, a Christian music company based in Nashville. Bright has also produced Sara Evans, Billy Ray Cyrus, Whitney Duncan and Mark Schultz. He began his production career in 1993 with BlackHawk. Bright was previously the vice president of EMI Music Publishing and co-founded the publishing company, Teracel Music. He will replace Word CEO Jim Van Hook, who is retiring after 30 years in the music industry. Bright will be responsible for Word’s record label group, publishing, distribution and church resource divisions.

  6. Danny says he doesn’t want to make Christian music, so he is looking for a label to let him change it up because he doesn’t want to *exclude* anyone? I’m not sure what that means…I don’t know, I would just be happy to work with one that had expressed interest. I hope he makes a lot of money so he can donate it to his late wife’s foundation. But I’m not feeling very optimistic for him. Gotta take the chances handed to you, it would seem to me.

  7. Danny have no basic music trainning or experience in song writing, he can only sing something people totally prepared for him. How can he expect himself to be a “hit” with none of these skills? He is still confusing with the genre he want to persue…
    Danny really has the most disgusting ego I’ve ever seen on any idol contestants…He is already talking about “make more money with song writing” at the statue that he could not even write a single note…
    I really wish no major label would sign him…

  8. ‘I told him, ‘I don’t want to be signed to a Christian label, because I don’t want to exclude anyone,”  Danny says. ‘I am who I am and I have my beliefs, but I don’t want to exclude anyone.

    What the fuck does this even mean? Deluded wanker

  9. What the fuck does this even mean? Deluded wanker

    LOL don’t you get it? because EVERYONE wants to be a part of the world of Danny

    Danny is seriously delusional WTF

  10. I don’t think Danny has a clear enough vision of what he wants. I do think he could have really big Christian hits. I mean, Mandisa I’m sure is not complaining. MercyMe had a pretty big hit with “I Can Only Imagine.” It’s not excluding people to do Christian music. You can still put out great music but still be under the Christian name.

    It seems like Danny is trying to convince everyone he is a country artist, especially by his tour set.

  11. I am outta here for the day–I expect there will 1,000 comments by the time I get back ;)–but I really don’t get it. Danny has made it quite clear that he didn’t know the music on Idol, that he had a really tough time choosing songs, and yet he wants to choose songs that aren’t from the genre he actually knows, gospel/Christian rock? And he has no experience writing songs but that is what he wants to do? When? And what does being a hit even mean? I am sincerely baffled at this point…

    Anyway…have fun speculating, peeps. It’s a 7PM show, West Coast time, so it will be cell cast at 4PM EST, and it is supposed to run 3 hours (maybe a bit longer with the first show, as they make tweaks to it). Back tonight. Very excited!!!

  12. “I really wish he would stop talking. He seems more and more full of himself, every.single.time.”

    Exactly my thought. I was just beginning to tolerate, and even like him a little, But I think Danny LIKES people disliking him. No one can be this delusional, right?

    Right???

  13. Danny, thank you for talking and talking and talking endlessly about yourself. And money. And don’t worry about excluding me. And writing will not just automatically “come” to you. Now, STFU.

  14. If Danny ends up signing with Word, I could see him putting out a “Butterfly Kisses” type of album. I remember that song being a hit some years ago and it was sung by a Christian artist Bob Carlisle. And not only did it win a Dove Award, but it also won a Grammy award for “Best Country song”. And it had a lot of airplay on pop radio stations. It was popular with the Christian audience, but also a lot of the mainstream audience as well.

    If Danny signs with Word, and they set him up with a good team including good songwriters, I could see him putting out a type of album like that and having some success with it.

  15. Is Danny channeling Kris here … writing song? I mean, come on now, he doesn’t even know how to “pick” songs when he was on the show. He must think he’s every bit as talented as, if not more than, Adam and Kris, so if he try REALLY hard, he’ll be able to hit those notes and write beautiful songs.

    Eh, I think you’re mistaken, Danny. Just do what you’re best at doing. Be a vocalist and improve on that part. (But I guess he’ll never agree and what do I know. I do wish him luck though. )

  16. Maybe Donny is thinking big and wants to be a huge international star. Maybe he just doesn’t want to exclude all the Jews and Muslims in the Middle East, all the Hindu in India, all the Buddhists in Asia, and so on and so forth.

    He knows that the whole universe is hungry for Donny.

  17. Anyway’ ¦have fun speculating, peeps. It’s a 7PM show, West Coast time, so it will be cell cast at 4PM EST, and it is supposed to run 3 hours (maybe a bit longer with the first show, as they make tweaks to it). Back tonight. Very excited!!!

    7 pm west coast is 10 pm east coast, not 4 pm, just FYI.

  18. What the fuck does this even mean? Deluded wanker

    This is the same thing that Danny has said in a other interviews. I think that he means that he wants to do mainstream music that could appeal to a wider audience of people. There are a lot of people out there that don’t like Christian, music and/or don’t really listen to it because of it’s religious context. Danny doesn’t want to do Christian music, because of these reasons and because he wants his music to appeal to a larger audience, besides possibly just mostly a Christian audience.

    I’m pretty sure that Danny knows that not everyone likes him and his voice. However, I think that he what he is saying he would like to make music that would appeal to a large audience of people. People who aren’t particulary fond of Christian music, but might buy his album, if he sings another type of music that might be more appealing to them.

  19. I’m beginning to think that not only is Danny totally clueless but as I hear and read more interviews or statements with quotes attached that he truly and unequivocally does not understand how the real world works. I don’t think that it is so much that Danny has led a “sheltered” life, though that contributes to his “absurdness”, but that he just doesn’t have the intellect, common sense, or basic common skills to negotiate the mine field that is life. He seems to be one of those people who grasp just enough to make themselves sound somewhat rationale, but not enough to act rationale.

    IMHO, Danny will self-destruct when he finally comes to terms with the fact that his conception of his life situations are not really the reality. He seems to truly want things, indicates that he feels entitled to have things, but just doesn’t know how to get things. Doesn’t he have ANYONE who can help him and guide him…or is he too egotistical to ask for the help he so desperately seems to need.

    With all of that said, the sad thing for me is that I can’t just ignore the man. He is so inept that it has become like watching a really bad B movie, I know the end but I can’t turn off the story…it is too funny and much too bizarre (how could it even be real?).

  20. I know I can make more money writing, but it’s not about that yet. That’ll come.

    Really? Because songwriting is so easy or you’re so skillful?

    Well… I suppose if he thinks Kara’s songs are the epitome of excellence (No Boundaries) then he may have a point. Someone actually paid her for those mountain and hurricane lyrics.

    …but I don’t want to exclude anyone. I want my music and my message and my foundation to get out and touch as many people as they can.

    Danny, Danny, Danny… please go the Christian route. It really is your best option and then my chances of hearing it are zero. It’s a win/win situation.

  21. The more I see and hear him, the less I like him, and let’s just say…he began with a low starting point to begin with. I find it amazing how much I’ve grown to dislike someone I’ve never met. He can take his “inspirational message” walking.

  22. Think about it. For someone who could have taken the crown (he thinks he could have) and has yet to be signed when three are already working on their albums. Isn’t that a clue?

  23. OMG…Everybody just watch Danny’s Idolatry Interview…He don’t even know what Grand Ole Opry is…How can he sing Country!And only last month he wanted to do R&B/Latin, now he is shifting to Country!

  24. That’s probably why Danny seems more tolerable in Twitter. With the words limit, he won’t make as many mistakes.

  25. I got a very clear picture of Danny from his Idolatry interview. That was the longest and most comprehensive interview Danny has done. I felt like Slezak. Painful. He is a talker who goes on and on about nothing (indicative that he is clueless) and seems to be defending every aspect of his singing.

  26. I may be confused – but isn’t the idol WINNER the only Idol guaranteed a record deal? Is there some reason this year’s group (Danny, Lil, Scott, Sarver, etc.) act/talk as though deals are going to be handed to them and that they will have choices?

    In years past I can think of only a few of the “runner-ups” who recorded successfully right away (Archie). In my opinion – none of these S8 “runner-ups” has the voice, the style, the following, or the commercial viability of (for example) Carley Smithson – who is just now pulling things together – by herself.

  27. If someone wants to sign him, he’d better jump at the opportunity. Regardless, he’ll be one and done.

  28. Honestly, Gokey just might talk himself OUT of a recording contract at this rate. The more he talks the more he makes clear that he really has NO idea what he wants. That has got to turn off potential record executives.

    He might as well just say “I don’t care what kind of record deal I get, as long as a get one. Also, I don’t really care about what kind of music I put out as long as I can preach my message and pimp my foundation with it.”

    RE: Is Danny socially inept or not.

    I think it’s a combination of naivete and a grieving widower desperately grasping at anything to avoid dealing with his grief.

  29. I got a very clear picture of Danny from his Idolatry interview. That was the longest and most comprehensive interview Danny has done. I felt like Slezak. Painful.

    I didn’t finished all Danny’s Idolatry interview (quit at part II). I tried really hard tho b/c I wanted to dislike one less person. The only thing I enjoyed about the interview was Slezak’s pant and his expression.

  30. Poor Danny…..

    Someone, anyone please sign him, this is getting ridiculous. Let the dude make a record and let the chips fall where they may.

  31. That’s probably why Danny seems more tolerable in Twitter.

    Actually, Danny has been creeping me out on Twitter. Tweets from bed, tweets from his butt cheek, tweets about pimples. TMI Danny!

  32. ‘I told him, ‘I don’t want to be signed to a Christian label, because I don’t want to exclude anyone,”  Danny says. ‘I am who I am and I have my beliefs, but I don’t want to exclude anyone.

    Does he think that Jews, Muslims, agnostics and atheists are forbidden by law to purchase or listen to music released by “Christian” labels?

    Do you have to explicitly sing about Jesus on Christian labels. Because if he sings generic inspirational bullshit, no one will be “excluded.” People can choose not listen or buy no matter what label you’re on.

    Someone get this guy a full-time PR babysitter stat. The only guy I know of who has worse diarrhea of the mouth right now is Mark Sanford.

  33. He is a talker who goes on and on about nothing (indicative that he is clueless)

    During the season Idol would hype him one minute, and then let him talk the next (how he kept his following after he opened his mouth is still a mystery to me).

    And after Danny gave Adam a terrible time because he was Jewish – Danny turns around and says

    I don’t want to exclude anyone

    Oh. It wasn’t JUST because Adam was Jewish? Well, same difference.

  34. Danny needs to concentrate on what he does best which at the moment is probably Christian music. How could he possibly write pop songs when he has admitted he never listened to anything but church related music? He has no experience outside of church so needs to start with what he knows. Somebody needs to sit him down and make him listen to common sense. Danny, if you are reading, sign up for the Christian thing, meanwhile study, study, study all forms of pop music, and maybe you can eventually cross over and write (Amy Grant?).

    Also, I am sure Sophia’s foundation was established with good motives, but you really don’t have time to develop it right now. Keep it small and keep it based in your hometown for now with someone else monitoring your website and running it AND keep it separate from your regular gigs. Once a year have a big benefit in your hometown, if the foundation is successful in your hometown, and if your career is successful outside of your hometown, then eventually expand if you wish. Right now your name brand isn’t big enough to carry a big foundation, think small for now. Remember, most big stars (Paul Newman, Bono, and many others) didn’t develop successful foundations until their careers were well established. . . :wacko_tb: I think your heart is in the right place, but you need to clear your head! (Okay, I know he will never read this, but I feel better!)

  35. Wow. I didn’t read anything controversial. Anyway, from reading the article this is what I surmise. Danny has two labels that are interested in him. He is having a hard time deciding which one to proceed with. It seems to me that he gets a good vibe from Mark Bright, but is not 100% about signing onto a Christian label. He has been “saying this all along. He wants to sing to a wider audience, not just the limited Christian audience.

    Sony Nashville is wanting to push him as a country artist. Danny seems to be a little uneasy about going with this label as he says he doesn’t have the twang. Maybe he doesnt feel country enough, but I do think he likes alot of a certain style of country music, and I think he did well with these on the show.

    A poster upthread said something about feeling like the Christian label might take better care of him. I sort of agree with this, but you never know. I do think 19 was expressing interest in him directly after the show, though, because of a comment he made at one of the question/answer sessions he had when he went home right after the finale. I guess maybe he had other offers coming in and wanted to explore those. I do think he needs to make a decision fairly soon though…but that’s just me.

    About the songwriting bit. I understand that Danny can be inarticulate, but all he is saying (and he is probably saying these things in response to certain questions that he is being asked), is that he would like to write songs eventually, but that he doesn’t think that he is able to do that right now. He wants to have a hit (who the heck doesn’t?), but he doesn’t think he can write a hit song.

  36. I think your heart is in the right place, but you need to clear your head! (Okay, I know he will never read this, but I feel better!)

    Revcat, I appreciate your post. It expresses rational criticism for Danny and no hate. I really think that this is good advice for Danny. I tend to get the sense from him that he has so much going on in his head, and thinks he can do too much at one time.

    As far as whether he reads it, god I hope he doesn’t read here, that would truly be sad! :sad_wp:

  37. He wants to have a hit (who the heck doesn’t?), but he doesn’t think he can write a hit song.

    Gosh, a glimmer of self-awareness! Can it be???

  38. If Danny goes with Word and works with the CEO of that Record Company, it could turn out to be a very good thing for him. I was reading up on Mark Bright, and found that he is a veteran music producer who he has produced some famous country stars albums.

    Mark produced both of Carrie Underwood’s multi platinum albums “Some Hearts” and “Carnival Ride”. He also produced three mulitplatium albums for Rascal Flatts.

    I was reading some stuff about him including this where he gives advice on how unknown songwriters can pitch their songs, to industry insiders.

    http://emusician.com/tutorials/columns/pitching_songs_how/

    The guy seems to know a lot about the music business. He might could really help Danny out, and if he’s willing to work with Danny and allow flexibility in the making of Danny’s album, I think that he could possibly help Danny put a good album, probably something that would not only appeal to a Christian audience, but also a mainstream country audience. If Danny does end up signing with Word, Mark might be able to help him out put out a successful album, like an album similar to ones Rascal Flatts have put out.

  39. And after Danny gave Adam a terrible time because he was Jewish –

    This is what you gather from both Danny and Adam saying that they “agree to disagree” about religion. For all we know Adam could have been giving Danny a hard time about being Christian….however I don’t believe this. I think they both decided to discuss religion, and came to the conclusion that they had totally different viewpoints.

    Does anyone know if Anoop is Christian? It seems to me that on the show his parents or Anoop said something about teaching him their religion. If so, then Anoop saying that he was closest to Danny, kinda blows the “Danny gives others a hard time about their religion” theory out of the water.

  40. The guy seems to know a lot about the music business. He might could really help Danny out, and if he’s willing to work with Danny and allow flexibility in the making of Danny’s album, I think that he could possibly help Danny put a good album, probably something that would not only appeal to a Christian audience, but also a mainstream country audience. If Danny does end up signing with Word, Mark might be able to help him out put out a successful album, like an album similar to ones Rascal Flatts have put out.

    Jx223, I sort of have a better feeling about this label for Danny, myself. And to me, from the article, it seems like Danny has a better feeling about this, too (as opposed to the country label). I wonder how close he is in his decision making, and I wonder if he is leaning this way. If so, we wouldn’t know until August, right?

  41. Does anyone know if Anoop is Christian? It seems to me that on the show his parents or Anoop said something about teaching him their religion. If so, then Anoop saying that he was closest to Danny, kinda blows the ‘Danny gives others a hard time about their religion’  theory out of the water.

    I’m not sure Anoop is a Christian but I don’t think that his parents are. His mother did mention on the show exposing Anoop to their religion. And I have remember cousin of his mentioning in an article different aspects of his family’s, religion and how Anoop was exposed to that. So there are people in his family including people that he is really close to that are not Christians, and it’s possible that he might not be one as well.

    So, I do think that does blow the Danny gives other a hard time about their religion” theory out of the water. Because I highly doubt that Anoop would be as close to Danny as he is, if Danny was giving him a hard time about his family and possibly Anoop having a different religion besides Chrisitianity.

  42. After listening to Adam and Danny numerous times talking about music and the industry, (now mind you I am just talking about music), Adam seems like he has an IQ of 200 and Danny about 40. You wonder why 19E signed Adam immediately but still hasn’t signed Danny? Remember, Danny was the front runner, then top two front runner. Logically, he should have been signed by now.

  43. Jx223, I sort of have a better feeling about this label for Danny, myself. And to me, from the article, it seems like Danny has a better feeling about this, too (as opposed to the country label). I wonder how close he is in his decision making, and I wonder if he is leaning this way. If so, we wouldn’t know until August, right?

    I think that we won’t know until August if he is not picked up by 19 and decides to go to Word.

    I have a much better feeling after reading up on Mark Bright. He was a successful music producer and produced some very successful country artists albums, including Carrie Underwood’s and Rascal Flatts.

    Here’s is what I think.

    I think that if Danny signs with Word, and Mark is really willing to work with him and take him under his wing, that Danny can still produce a Modern/Soul Country album, with some inspirational songs up there. Just like Rascal Flatts music. That would be a good fit for Danny, IMHO, and since it seems like Mark might be willing to really work with him, he doesn’t have to produce a straight up Christian album. He still could go the country route, and just sing some inspirational country songs like Rascal Flatts does.

    I think that Mark could help Danny put out an album that not only appeals to a lot of Christian people, but a lot of people in the mainstream country artist. He seems like he’s a very intelligent, man, and he has a lot of experience underneath his belt in producing hit albums for mainstream artists. I could see him helping Danny put out a good record. I really hope that things work out for Danny.

  44. Danny comes with a fan base from Idol, but instead of being who he is and sticking to what he knows, he won’t sign with a Christian label, for fear of excluding people? Rather than thinking his fan base might follow him and could possibly enjoy some of his Christian music which really represents him, he’s already assuming his fans can’t grow and perhaps enjoy him being himself.

  45. If Danny keeps his mouth shut except to sing exactly what someone else tells him to sing and that someone does all the marketing and promo…well Danny may have an outside chance to make a record. Danny the “puppet”. Says a lot about Danny the man.

  46. I know I can make more money writing, but it’s not about that yet.

    Sorry, aek. While this statement might not be “controversial” it certainly is laughable. Does he have ANYTHING in his background that could back up his song-writing prowess or is this something he just discovered, like non-christian music in general?

    Based on his inability to coherently express ideas in interviews I highly doubt that he’d do any better expressing them on paper. Just saying….

  47. Sorry, aek. While this statement might not be ‘controversial’  it certainly is laughable. Does he have ANYTHING in his background that could back up his song-writing prowess or is this something he just discovered, like non-christian music in general?

    Based on his inability to coherently express ideas in interviews I highly doubt that he’d do any better expressing them on paper. Just saying

    I think that Danny did write songs before he got on Idol. I think he had some original material out there before he got on Idol. He might not have written the most interesting, entertaining songs, ever, but I do think that he has tried his hand at songwriting prior to coming on Idol, and I know he said that he is writing some stuff now.

  48. Rather than thinking his fan base might follow him and could possibly enjoy some of his Christian music which really represents him, he’s already assuming his fans can’t grow and perhaps enjoy him being himself.

    Well, I am a Danny fan and I’m agnostic. A straight up Christian album would not appeal to me. I have to admit that I can’t and won’t “grow” in that way. So he does have a point.

    But it sounds like he wouldn’t have to put out straight up Christian music with the Word label. It might be a good fit.

  49. I know I can make more money writing, but it’s not about that yet.

    Sorry, aek. While this statement might not be ‘controversial’  it certainly is laughable. Does he have ANYTHING in his background that could back up his song-writing prowess or is this something he just discovered, like non-christian music in general?

    Based on his inability to coherently express ideas in interviews I highly doubt that he’d do any better expressing them on paper. Just saying’ ¦.

    He was probably responding to a question about that, and he’s pointing out that it’s not about the money. He had already said that he wasn’t at a point where he feels comfortable writing songs for his album.

    I certainly will agree that Danny is not very articulate in his speaking. I do think he has a hard time getting his point across succintly, leaving a lot of people trying to figure out exactly what he means. If one doesn’t like him, they read in the most negative meaning.

    I will say that I don’t think being inarticulate in your speaking necessarily means that you can’t communicate well in your writing. Writing allows time for you to “think” about what you want to say, and how you want to say it. Speaking really doesn’t, and you’ve got someone’s eyes on you, to boot.

    Further, I’ve been following Idol for a long time. Many, many contestants seem to come off of this show with such big pie in the sky dreams. I think they are built up so much while they are on the show, that they feel that they can do anything. Reality will sink in for them. But it’s not just Danny, Ive seen it with other contestants this year and in the past.

  50. Well, I am a Danny fan and I’m agnostic. A straight up Christian album would not appeal to me. I have to admit that I can’t and won’t ‘grow’  in that way. So he does have a point.

    But it sounds like he wouldn’t have to put out straight up Christian music with the Word label. It might be a good fit.

    Danny does have a diverse fanbase.

    I know that not everyone in his fanbase are Christians, and I think that even a lot of the ones that are would rather he put out a country album than a Christian album.

    It would be a lot easier to keep up with Danny and his music career if he became a successful country artist, and was mainstream.

    It’s a lot easier to catch him on CMT, or ABC, CBS, when some of the country awards like ACM, CMA awards air than it would to catch him on one of the inspirational channels or see him on the Dove Awards, I don’t even know when the Dove Awards air or what channel they come on.

    And while a lot of his fanbase would buy his album even if it was a straight Christian album, some of them aren’t going to really watch a lot of whichever inspirational channel might play his videos. Or listen to Christian radio a lot, in hopes of catching one of his songs.

    But a lot of his fans would listen to country radio to catch one of his songs, or pop radio. More of them would do this than listen to Christian radio if he went the straight Christian route.

    Danny going the mainstream route, or at least putting out music that can crossover to mainstream, makes it easier and more fun, for his fans in general to follow him, keep up with him and have access to what is going on in his music career.

    Danny was introduced to his fans on a show where mainstream music is played, not on a show where there is a lot of Christian music is played.

    So I believe that most of his fanbase, at least the online ones and probably a lot of offline ones would he rather he go the mainstream route, or at least put out music that could cross over to mainstream.

    If he signs with Word, he can put out this type of music, Rascal Flatts type of music, because of the experience, and knowledge that the Mark Bright has.

    And that way he could still have music that can crossover, be played in mainstream music but also still techincally fit music under the Word label.

    I think that an album Country/Soul music with some inspirational songs like “My Wish” would work well for Danny, and it would make the vast majority of his fans Christians, and non Chrisitians, happy.

    As well as appeal to people in the Christian music market and mainstream country music market. I think that Mark from Word could help him put out this type of album.

  51. I think he’ll be better off with Word doing Christian music

    MJ what did you mean by better off with Word?

  52. In any event, the music Danny records will likely depend on what label signs him.

    Because he has no musical identity.

    I’m not acknowleding “modern soul country” as a music genre. I do not think such a thing exists. I think someone just made up that term.

    I want my music and my message and my foundation to get out and touch as many people as they can.

    Danny, you were on a televised Karaoke show. No one cares about your message.

    Trying to get both a new non-profit and a fledgling music career off the ground at the same time seems like a pretty tall order. Both of those things would seem to require someone’s undivided attention.

    Danny may see his foundation as a little side project, but it won’t have the kind of reach he seems to want for it with that mount of effort. I’ve seen people dedicate their every waking moment to a foundation and still not be able to make much headway. It isn’t just about putting up a web site and waiting for the fangirls to start throwing money at it.

    I don’t know how he expects to go on an extended tour where he barely has time to sleep and get his foundation up and going. He lives in a deluded fantasy land.

  53. I have also been reading up on Mark Bright. All the Idols want longevity but signing with Sony Nashville and 19E is not the best way to get it. They are notorious for rushing out an album, giving little promotion and dumping the Idols if they are not successful on the first go-around. By Danny saying in this article that he wants longevity and wants to get his foot through the door, not just in the door, he is well aware of 19E’s history and maybe he sees Mark Bright as someone who may really work with him and help him put out a really good album. If that is the case, I would tell Danny to follow his gut in making his decision. It will serve him well.

  54. Would like to add that I am a Danny fan who definately prefers he put out a mainstream album. I do not listen to Christian radio. I would much prefer a country album with inspirational songs. If Mark Bright can help him put out an album like that I think his fans would be very happy. The same goes for Sony Nashville.

  55. One has to dream big. Where would we be if we didn’t have BIG dreams.

  56. Personally, I don’t listen to country music, can’t stand it myself. However, there seems to be quite a few people on this site who do. I tend to believe them when they say that country fans won’t accept Danny as a true country artist. Therefore his best bet for now is to stick with what he knows – christian/inspirational music. If that means signing with Word than so be it. I’m sure he’d be a huge success at those Billy Graham-like revivals that fill football stadiums.

  57. Well, although I’m not a Danny fan, I do wish him well and hope he can find direction in his life. I still think he never gave himself time to grieve a huge loss and, therefore, he’s kind of running around in circles without much focus.

  58. Would like to add that I am a Danny fan who definately prefers he put out a mainstream album. I do not listen to Christian radio. I would much prefer a country album with inspirational songs. If Mark Bright can help him put out an album like that I think his fans would be very happy. The same goes for Sony Nashville

    ITA Lizzy.

  59. Although Nashville is associated with country music, the city has a diverse musical make-up and yes there’s even soul music in Nashville. Just ask Melinda Doolitte. Hey, maybe she could hook him up. He could do ‘soul inspirational’ .

    I don’t want to be signed to a Christian label, because I don’t want to exclude anyone,”  Danny says. ‘I am who I am and I have my beliefs, but I don’t want to exclude anyone.

    I just think that Danny means that he doesn’t want to isolate those who may not hold the same religious tenets. I can’t see Danny going country, although he does have somewhat of a Travis Tritt vibe.

    As for Word Entertainment’ ¦they smell cash and sure, it’d be no prob for them to have Danny avoid using the terms ‘Jesus’  and ‘Holy Spirit’  and the like. I don’t know, I just have a problem with the whole premise of the religious music arm of the industry, which should be for the sole purpose of spreading the gospel of Christ. The whole lot of them are a bunch of sell-outs. imho

  60. Who knows what is said behind the scenes at these meetings, but my gut feeling is that Danny would be best going with Bright from Word.

    I don’t think it’s a given though that if Danny goes with Bright he will be pigeon-holed into Christian music. If Bright has had alot of success with Carrie and Rascal Flatts, most likely he will bring that over with him to Word. New guy, new vision.

    Danny was very good with What Hurts The Most so I could see him putting out this kind of music. I would listen to this but I do not follow Christian music per se.

    I didn’t see anything too obnoxious with what Danny said in this article. I think he’s realistic to say he won’t be writing songs at this point, but you don’t have to be a singer songwriter to be successful.

  61. For those that think that if 19 or sony does not sign Danny, it will be a good thing because they wouldn’t rush out an album is wrong only because Danny himself has said he wants to put out an album before the year ends. Whoever signs him would want it to come out then too because sales are higher during Christmas time. Also, Danny has already said that he wouldn’t be doing any songwriting so basically they just have to find and pick out some songs for him.

  62. Danny may see his foundation as a little side project, but it won’t have the kind of reach he seems to want for it with that mount of effort. I’ve seen people dedicate their every waking moment to a foundation and still not be able to make much headway. It isn’t just about putting up a web site and waiting for the fangirls to start throwing money at it.

    Ugh, I just responded to this, but it didn’t go through and I lost it.

    Anyway, I dont think that Danny sees this as a little side project. I don’t get that sense at all. And while I do feellike Danny has alot on his plate, I also know that he wants to use the foundation to help others. He has spent loads of volunteer time trying to help the very people this organization is set up to benefit. He knows that he can not run the foundation on his own, and has appointed people for that purpose. He has said as much.

    Also, I don’t think that Sophia’s Heart Foundation is some kind of fly by night organization that is just getting money thrown at it from “fangirls”, as you say. There have been substantial amounts of money donated from other sources. Danny and his “team” have met with the mayor of Milwaukee about the organization. A professional athlete has donated $200,00 to the foundation. I don’t believe anyone donates that kind of money to a foundation without thoroughly checking it out.

    While Danny is dedicated to this foundation, I also think that the family of his late wife, Sophia, are also very dedicated to this as a way of doing good works in her name. I think her family is putting in a lot of time and effort, since Danny simply can not logistically do this right now.

    edit: don’t criticize other posters

  63. Somebody warn him not to hire any of us as manager-adviser. He’d likely off himself at his earliest possible convenience.

  64. Maybe Danny should use Twitter to ask his fans what they like to listen to. He needs to listen to his fanbase at this point.

    I wonder how many are actually following him because they see him as a Christian singer?

  65. Danny had better watch out in Nashville! There’s a “chicken catcher” on his tail! LOL

  66. I wonder how many are actually following him because they see him as a Christian singer?

    I doubt many, as that is not what they saw on the show. Quite frankly, other than the reference to being the choir director, I don’t think religion was brought up that much on the show. Am I wrong?

    Now, he did tend to sing alot of big ballady type songs that are inspirational and could, I suppose, crossover between Christian and manistream music. I think this would appeal more to his fanbase, imo.

  67. Forgot to add. He needs to listen to what his sizable fanbase wants and just forget about the haters. The fans are the ones buying his albums.

    I get the feeling too that at least here, it’s not a Christian follower kind of fanbase.

    I never thought Danny used his religion as a way to buy Christian votes as some might. He did chose Jesus Take The Wheel for country night and this probably didn’t help. Kind of a weird choice when you think of all the country songs out there but maybe it was one he knew? Anyways in the end it was probably a good choice if he ends up signing with Bright.

  68. Although Nashville is associated with country music, the city has a diverse musical make-up and yes there’s even soul music in Nashville. Just ask Melinda Doolitte. Hey, maybe she could hook him up. He could do ‘soul inspirational’ .

    Seems to me poor Melinda, whom TPTB totally ignored, needs to save her energy and connections to build her own career! All her amazing talent and skill, and she’s gotten virtually no help.

    That’s really my only beef with Gokey (and I know it’s not his fault) — all the buzz around him from the show and major record labels, when they’ve totally written off a bunch of people that I think are every bit as good, if not somewhat better (not just Melinda, but Elliott, George Huff, Kim Locke, and others.) I would have liked all of these to get the same kind of shot Danny seems to be getting, and I think they completely deserve it. I’m really puzzled by how the record execs make their choices. Seems pretty random to me.

  69. I’ve lost the interest I had in Danny in the beginning. I wouldn’t buy anything he records at this point. I’ve gone back over the season and tried to figure out where it turned for me, but I can’t pin point it. It might have been that everything started sounding the same…I don’t know. He seems like a nice enough guy though and I think Country or Christian music probably suits him best…It just doesn’t work for me.

  70. JMHO I still can’t see/hear Danny doing Country music — I can see him doing some contemporary secular R&B/Gospel that is inspirational but not Christian. And I think that is more likely to come for a label like Word vs. Sony Nashville.

    Although I doubt I’d ever buy any of Danny’s music, I really want all the AI8 to succeed.

  71. Kind of a weird choice when you think of all the country songs out there but maybe it was one he knew?

    Well, I think he said that he had heard the chorus of Jesus Take the Wheel. But isn’t that the one where he had the sheet music when meeting with Randy Travis, and he kept messing up with the lyrics. It was obvious that he didn’t really know the song in that clip.

  72. Here is Brian Mansfield’s comment to a poster on his blog on this topic:

    Word does have ties to the Warner distribution system. They’ve done projects in the past that have been directed at both the mainstream and Christian retail markets. Sony Nashville has a similar relationship with the Provident Music Group in the Christian market. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see one of those companies put together a deal that would involve both marketplaces.

  73. If Danny signs it will strictly be with a limited Christian music recording deal. Whether this is an arm of Sony Nashville or the Word site. At this point it doesn’t matter what Danny wants or the fans think he should have it is about the reality of the recording industry. Obviously Jive, RCA and Arista passed on Danny…he is now being shopped to their mid tier level. If this falls through because Danny thinks he “knows” more than the professionals the next step will be mid August and then he is on his own to find someone that may want to sign him.

    At that point, though, he would be in talks, competing with the other idol finalists. Personally I think that both Anoop and Matt will have a better chance to negotiate with another “major” recording companies. I firmly believe that all of this has been a lot of talk with very little substance.

  74. I think it would be a mistake for Danny to go the country route. Singing a couple of Rascal Flatts songs does not make you a country singer. Danny IS NOT a country singer and I’m surprised they’re even trying to steer him in that direction. I think he could do decently going the R&B route (since he’s set on putting out a secular album). Probably wouldn’t sell a ton of albums, but I could see him having moderate success in that genre (on the Urban AC side).

    If Danny signs it will strictly be with a limited Christian music recording deal.

    How do you know? There are many other labels outside of Jive, RCA and Arista. Because they passed on him doesn’t necessarily mean that other labels will. For Danny’s sake I would rather see him on a mid-tier label that will take the time to work with him rather than on a larger label that will rush out an album and kick him to the curb afterwards if the sales aren’t up to snuff.

  75. I doubt many, as that is not what they saw on the show. Quite frankly, other than the reference to being the choir director, I don’t think religion was brought up that much on the show. Am I wrong?

    No, IMO, you are not wrong.

    Now, he did tend to sing alot of big ballady type songs that are inspirational and could, I suppose, crossover between Christian and manistream music. I think this would appeal more to his fanbase, imo.

    ITA.I think that it would appeal more to his fanbase as well.

    Forgot to add. He needs to listen to what his sizable fanbase wants and just forget about the haters. The fans are the ones buying his albums.

    Maybe Danny should use Twitter to ask his fans what they like to listen to. He needs to listen to his fanbase at this point.

    ITA. I think that what his established fanbase wants along with what he wants, and making stuff that a lot of people from a target audience(depending on what type of album he makes) are things that should all be factored into his decision making.

    Those of us that are his fans, are the ones that have his back so to speak, and the ones that will help get him off the ground, or at least try to get him off the ground running if/once his album drops. And it’s also up to him and the record company that he signs with, to put out a product that will draw a lot of new fans to him. IMO, his fanbase opinions should definitely be a big part of his decision making.

    I don’t think that a lot of people are fans of his because they want him to put out a Christian album or because that is the type of music that they want him to sing the most.

    I believe that the vast majority of his fanbase are people that care about him and that love/like his voice. And it’s not because they want him to be a straight up Christian artist.

    So I think that Danny will think about his what his the people in fanbase wants, along with other factors, to determine what is the best direction for him to go in.

    Word does have ties to the Warner distribution system. They’ve done projects in the past that have been directed at both the mainstream and Christian retail markets. Sony Nashville has a similar relationship with the Provident Music Group in the Christian market. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see one of those companies put together a deal that would involve both marketplaces

    I could see that happening and I think that could work out for him.

  76. If he could get a deal with Word where they put out an album that wasn’t traditional Christian, I’d say go with that. I think Danny doesn’t want to be strictly a Christian artist like Mandisa or Phil. And he doesn’t really fit as a country artist.

    I hope it works out for Danny because he’s so polarizing here.
    It would be kind of fun if he turned out a good album and was successful. Of course, he’ll have an uphill climb against the mega promo the 19R artists will get.

    I’m actually convinved they make very little profit on their albums even if they go platinum. They just need someone from eacg season to do well so they can give the $making TV franchise going.

    It’s a little like a pyramid scheme. Exclude Kelly, Carrie and Daughtry though. They actually made $ for their labels.

  77. Personally, I don’t listen to country music, can’t stand it myself. However, there seems to be quite a few people on this site who do.

    I don’t listen to any pop40 crap — just country and/or AC, and I know many people like myself that do the same.

  78. I’ve been reading all of the comments with interest. I really am surprised that Danny seems to be turning up his nose at signing with a Christian label, considering that is obviously the only type of music with which he is fluent. For him, I really think that it’s all about the money and nothing to do with artistry. He thinks he can “learn on the fly,” which is nuts. The trouble that he had picking songs, admitting that he hardly new any contemporary music (across genres) is so troubling from an artistic standpoint. (And WHY in the world would he admit that out loud with labels watching? Dumb, dumb dumb.)

    And he’s clearing been listening to Adam articulate his (Adam’s) (totally sensical) vision of his forthcoming album. How else to explain Danny’s soul-country-R&B-Latin, head-scratching disaster of an explanation. And he’s been calling Idol a “platform,” just as Adam has. I really think Danny has no idea what is happening.

    Really, I think that when the execs meet with Danny in person, it becomes painfully clear what kind of deluded person they’re dealing with. Danny is his own worst PR. And he seems to want to be rich and famous to serve his foundation in the end, which is admirable, I guess, but he so obviously has no idea of the focus and talent and sheer hard work it takes to make it as a successful recording artist.

    I hope that Danny takes a year off to grieve privately, and then signs with a small Christian label. He’s so over his head right now, it’s unbelievable.

  79. I think the last thing Danny cares about is being rich and famous.
    His heart is in the right place. Does he have things to learn?
    Of course, who of ANY of the idols or in the world doesn’t?

    This is a new experience for all the idols.
    Maybe Danny isn’t as experienced as others, but he is not a phony opportunist in the way that many non Danny fans speak for him. He’s not dumb either, just speaks too quick at times. He’ll learn.
    But he is trying to simply get his singing career in the right direction.
    He has enough talent and interest in him.
    He is not over his head. He just needs to wisely choose the best route for himself.
    I think him not doing solely a Christian album is wise for him. He knows in his heart what to do.
    He has the ability to do country with the soul element. I believe he would gain many country fans because he has that heart, the main thing behind country music.

  80. I doubt many, as that is not what they saw on the show. Quite frankly, other than the reference to being the choir director, I don’t think religion was brought up that much on the show. Am I wrong?

    Yes, IMO, this is wrong. But you may be right when it comes to his music buying fans, who knows. I suspect so. As for his show fans (voting fans) though, he had HUGE support from “religious” or “Christian” or “church” or “gospel” fans. Church leaders even used their pulpits and podiums to support him.

    I get that his online fans may be different, in large part, and that he has a varied fanbase. But to believe that “not many” fans supported him because of religion or his church leader role is indeed wrong, imo and experience.

  81. I really am surprised that Danny seems to be turning up his nose at signing with a Christian label, considering that is obviously the only type of music with which he is fluent. For him, I really think that it’s all about the money and nothing to do with artistry. He thinks he can ‘learn on the fly,’  which is nuts. The trouble that he had picking songs, admitting that he hardly new any contemporary music (across genres) is so troubling from an artistic standpoint…he so obviously has no idea of the focus and talent and sheer hard work it takes to make it as a successful recording artist.

    ITA. He way over-estimates his own abilities and how easy it will be for him to waltz into a studio and get a hit record, and he way under-estimates how hard other people work to achieve something in music.

    I hope that Danny takes a year off to grieve privately, and then signs with a small Christian label. He’s so over his head right now, it’s unbelievable.

    I don’t know what role his un-dealt-with grief plays in his clueless full-of-himself-ness (they seem separate to me, unless he thinks his suffering means he’s been “chosen” to bring people a message.) But whatever role it plays, or even if it plays none, I agree, he would do well to retreat for a while and deal with his grief more fully than he seems to have done so far. In a private way, I mean.

  82. I don’t really get that about underestimating the work and overestimating his abilities.

    The way I see it Danny has been extremely lucky to get that far and he himself has said he never thought he would make it that far. So in a sense the Idol journy has been very quick compared to some contestants who are preparing themselves for quite some time before auditioning.

    He does have natural talent but it sounds like he never had a lot of support in developing this outside of his church. He does sound like he is a very hard worker holding down two jobs (church music director and driving truck during the day).

    Lots of the time, it’s about being in the right place and right time. Maybe this is what is happening for Danny?

  83. Even though Danny is considered polarizing to a lot of peeps, I do agree with MJ here and also with the statement upthread that jpfan made. I think Danny would be wise to go the CCM route. I don’t think country is the right direction for him IMO.

  84. Danny’s incredible cluelessness about contemporary (or even decades old) pop music makes it impossible to take him seriously as anything other than a karaoke singer with an better than usual voice. How can someone be an “artist” with a vision about the genre he belongs in when he doesn’t understand what those genres contain? He’s counting on his voice (admittedly good, as long as he stays away from Aerosmith) and his personality (such as it is) to support a successful recording career. Dude, that’s not enough. You are not David Cook. You are not Adam Lambert. You are not Kris Allen. You are not Daughtry. You are not Jason Castro. All these guys have really good to great voices AND substantial musical knowledge AND an informed vision of where they want to go musically. Whether you like it or not is, of course, a matter of individual taste. But they know what they’re trying to do. Danny, dude, you know the alphabet, but you don’t know how to spell.

    I would say that it would be a good idea for Danny to take a year off to deal with his personal stuff, but a year from now he’ll be a non-entity. He needs to strike a deal while he is still riding whatever Idol wave he’s on. If gospel and Christian music is what he knows, and he wants to be inspirational, then that’s where he needs to start. If he’s lucky, and he gets good songs, he might eventually be able to cross over. Maybe by then he’ll have developed some songwriting skills. He does have a good natural voice, but that alone is not going to get him very far without a lot of good nurturing from a label that cares about him.

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