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‘American Idol’ Alum Danny Gokey Shares Inspiration Behind Latest Album, ‘The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Collection’

The former 'Idol' star shared highlights from the making of his latest Christmas album, how he wants his family to remember the season of Christmas, and how he hopes to spread joy and grace to others with his music.

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Photo: Courtesy of Cameron Powell

Former star of American Idol and esteemed contemporary Christian artist Danny Gokey has reason to celebrate this holiday season. Gokey’s 2019 album Haven’t Seen It Yet is nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album at the 62nd annual GRAMMY Awards, and the title track is also nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song.

Gokey recently released his Christmas album, The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Collection just in time for the holiday season. Gokey’s spiritual-pop take on a blend of originals and holiday classics are a perfect blend of favorites for all. We had the opportunity to chat with Gokey about some of his favorite highlights in the making of the album, about spending the holidays with his growing family, and the greatest gifts in his life. 

TG: What made you choose the songs you did on the album? Do these have any special memories attached to them? 

DG: Every single song has great memories attached to them. I can’t think of one bad Christmas song. All Christmas songs are so great. I love getting to put my own spin on them. It will take me many hours to accomplish all the Christmas songs that I want to accomplish, but I love them all.

TG: What was it like recording the album when it wasn’t necessarily the season for it?  How did you get into the spirit? 

DG: As artists, we learn to perform, so getting in the spirit out of season wasn’t too hard. It was really hot outside; I was driving up to the studio and it was 95 degrees outside. For me, that didn’t bother me, I just wanted to celebrate the season that was about to happen. So I just put my mind there. I love Christmas enough that I can get through the heat of the warm weather.

TG: With a new baby in the family, what do you hope they will remember about their early holiday experiences over the years?

DG: I hope my kids remember the true meaning of Christmas. One of the greatest memories I have of Christmas was when I was riding with my parents and my family over to my grandma and grandpa’s house and we had just left my other grandma and grandpa’s house. I had presents, but I was listening to worship on the way there. My parents were playing a worship song and it really brought me back to the meaning of Christmas. I was such a young kid, but this memory sticks out to me the most among all of the memories. I just remember telling God, “Lord you can have my presents.” I must have been like seven years old. I remember telling God, “You can have my presents, because I just want you.” Christmas is something beautiful in my family, but that is a meaningful moment, so I want my kids to share that meaningful moment of how important God is to Christmas and that He truly is the greatest gift we could ever have.

TG: What are your hopes for this album for the years to come? 

DG: My hopes are that people really find the true meaning of Christmas and they find hope. I pray that people find healing in my albums. I hope when they listen to hope, people can rest in the fact that God’s got them. Christmas can be tough for a lot of people out there. I really hope that they can turn my album on and just settle into the fact that God’s got them right where He wants them. He is going to take care of them so they can rest, relax and celebrate. They can enjoy the holiday without all of the pressure that the holidays sometimes may bring.

Readers can hear Gokey’s Christmas album, The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Collection and can keep up with him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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