Former "American Idol" Finalist Danny Gokey Is Engaged

"He is thrilled to have found Leyicet who also shares his passion and desire to help children and families in need."

By Access Hollywood
|  Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011  |  Updated 4:11 PM PDT
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Former "American Idol" Finalist Danny Gokey Is Engaged

AP

Danny Gokey is engaged.

Three years after the tragic passing of his wife, Sophia, Danny Gokey has found love again.

The "Amercan Idol" Season 8 finalist is engaged to his girlfriend, Leyicet Peralta.

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Gokey announced the happy news on the website for the charity in his late wife's memory, Sophia's Heart, adding that the couple "is planning a wedding for late January 2012."

"Danny's passion and focus for the last three years has been his country music career and launching Sophia's Heart Foundation," said a statement on the charity's website. "He is thrilled to have found Leyicet who also shares his passion and desire to help children and families in need."

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The couple is requesting that any wedding gifts be given in the form of donations to Sophia's Heart.

"We are thankful for so many of the blessings God has given us. It is our desire to see homeless children and families be kept together and lifted back on their feet through the help of Sophia's Heart. We love and appreciate you all."

The 31–year-old singer won the hearts of millions of Americans during "American Idol" due to his sensitive charm and touching story.

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Then 28, Danny had lost his wife just four weeks prior to auditioning for the show during her surgery to repair a congenital heart defect.

"I think she is the reason for my success," he told Access Hollywood of his late wife during a February 2009 interview. "You become the sum of who you hang around with and I've been with her for 11 years and she made me who I am.

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"She believed in me when no one else believed in me," he continued. "I'm thankful for her… very much."

Danny said he hoped his story would help others who find themselves in seemingly hopeless situations.

"When people look at me they find hope," the Milwaukee native said at the time. "Dreams put a new passion in your life to live again. I want to get that message out to people — that they can live again no matter how bad the tragedy. You can dream again and you can see those dreams fulfilled, and I think right now, it seems like it's being lived out in me and I hope they see that."

Copyright 2011 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Related Content from AccessHollywood.com:

PLAY IT NOW: Dish Of Salt: Danny Gokey Answers Fan Questions (July 2009)
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