Once in blue moon, you come across an artist that transcends beyond just their genre and wins the hearts of fans around the globe with their music and the message behind each song. It’s even more inspiring when the artist sings those award-winning songs in Spanish for a Latino community that is growing by leaps and bounds. This May marked the 10th Anniversary of when we were introduced to Danny Gokey on American Idol, who today is an award-winning Christian music artist, entertainer, author, and philanthropist. Have you ever wondered about the folks behind the artist that are a driving force for their inspiration? Cue Leyicet Gokey the beautiful Cuban and Peruvian former model who was born and raised in Miami and won the heart of Danny Gokey. The two married in 2012, and she has not only been a source of inspiration for a few of Gokey’s songs but a saving grace for Gokey during a difficult time in his life.
You might remember Leyicet Gokey, whose maiden name was Peralta, from a reality show called Model Latina. She did six episodes back in 2008. Gokey, you might say, was in the limelight a few years before meeting her husband. She shares that she actually started her career doing correspondent work.
“I started getting a lot of inquiries to interview artists and to do some print, and some TV stuff. I also modeled as well and did commercials and little parts in independent films. It was such a lifetime ago,” she tells HipLatina, while sharing that a little joke she has with her husband Danny is that she was a reality TV person first.
Despite her talent in front of the camera, Gokey shared she never really felt a passion to continue her TV work. Her main focus was school. Her degree in journalism and her early experiences on camera, you might say, was preparing her for a life down the road with her soon-to-be husband. A road of unimaginable blessings we can all be inspired by.
“I actually was a math major for a long time but I just really felt like God spoke to me and told me I should do journalism,” she said. Since getting married and having kids, Leyicet shared she has not written as much but she has been able to use her degree to edit a lot of work for her husband. “I just feel like I laid that down to build my family.”
The love story between Leyicet and her husband Danny Gokey is an inspiration. Who would have guessed that a meeting through Twitter would have lead to meeting the man she’d eventually marry?
“It’s like the worst story,” she says laughing. “He wrote me on Twitter, and typically I didn’t answer guys when they would write me on Twitter when I was single. But Danny wrote to me in Spanish and I was like, ‘Oh this guy speaks Spanish.'”
After garnering her attention the two dated through skype. She lived in Miami and Danny was in Nashville. After a few weeks, they decided to meet, and the rest is history. Being married to one of the most popular Christian artists around the world, having three kids, and one on the way, and going on tours with her husband may sound like a lot but Leyicet claims she enjoys it.
“I always tell my husband I love it! I can get bored easily, and it’s impossible to get bored with Danny because we are always doing something different, traveling, or something,” she says.
To top things off, this dynamic duo has also joined the ranks of flipping houses on the side. You can also catch them from time to time doing hilarious car videos on their travels, attending award shows or just having fun doing everyday errands.
“We just found a great partnership and I would say life is super fun and my kids are awesome and we enjoy our children so much,” she adds.
Gokey admits that her husband was recently helping out with some spring cleaning around the house. Although it may seem like a dream, life before they meet, wasn’t so easy for her husband. Having lost his first wife Sophia to a congenital heart disease right before auditioning for American Idol was life-altering. In his book, Hope in Front of Me, Danny shares a powerful excerpt that reads:
“To my beautiful wife, Leyicet, you have always encouraged me. You and my son, Daniel, were the chapter in my book I could not see when my world fell apart.”
Danny’s song titles often read like poetry, such as “There’s Hope in Front of Me,” reminding you to “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again,” and his latest hit to realize maybe you just “Haven’t Seen It Yet.” Leyicet Gokey turned out to be the beauty he could not see that met him at his darkest hour, only to bring him into a joyous new light of second chances.
“When we met and got married and had children… he couldn’t even have fathomed that part of his life. It’s like everything is different. He tries to encourage people that just because you’re in a dark place and you can’t see what God has in store for you, you could literally be in a different world in a few years if you just give it time,” shared Gokey.
Gokey not only stole the heart of this talented artist but along the way has also been a source of inspiration for a few of his songs such as “Tell Somebody” from his latest album, which is a song inspired and written about her testimony of finding God. She is also a big reason as to why we get to enjoy his lovely ballads in Spanish. His rendition of “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” in Spanish will have you reaching for that tissue box, and we can thank Leyicet and her mom for assisting with the translations.
Grateful was a word Gokey used to describe how she has felt the past few years. She says it’s important for her and her husband to always remember to be very intentional about staying close and not growing apart, and making time for each other. She also stressed that respect, reconnecting, and making sure to pray together are some of the things that have kept her marriage strong.
“We’re intentional about the things we pray about. We pray that God will bless our intimacy and partnership. We also envision where we’re going to be in the next five to 10 years. I can say after seven years together, it’s like the first year. We are so happy and I feel like a teenager with her first crush.”
To keep up with Leyicet Gokey and the adventures she shares with her family, make sure to follow her on Instagram. Gokey also went on to share they have a few projects in the works we can look forward to in the future, as well as the philanthropic work they are passionate about through their non-profit Better Than I Found It.