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Idol's Danny Gokey scores first No. 1 hit

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"American Idol" alum Danny Gokey did well when he tried his hand at country music, but his heart was always in Christian music (he was a church music director prior to appearing on the singing competition), so his second album followed his heart. And, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Rodney Ho reported Aug. 28, his heart led him straight to a No. 1 hit single.

According to the blog "Radio and TV Talk," Billboard placed Danny Gokey's "Hope In Front Of Me" in the top position this week (Billboard's charts post on Thursday each week and reflect the previous week's performance ending on Sunday). He's the second "American Idol" alum to hit the top position -- Mandisa (who finished ninth in Season 5) landed at No. 1 last year with her hit "Stronger." Coincidentally, both songs are the title tracks to the albums.

As mentioned, Gokey first appeared on the country charts in 2009, peaking at No. 24 with "My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me," the title track from the album My Best Days. The song title would appear to be prophetic. He had a slightly smaller hit with his second release in 2010, "I Will Not Say Goodbye," which topped out at No. 32. He followed that with a minor hit (No. 48) off of his 2011 EP Love Again.

Danny Gokey rose to fame via his stint on "American Idol" during its eighth season (2009). He placed third, overshadowed by the dynamic Adam Lambert and the talented rearranger Kris Allen (who would eventually win).

While the "American Idol" alum enjoys sitting atop the Christian music chart, he still can't quite escape some "American Idol" competition. The aforementioned Mandisa is at No. 11 this week with her latest hit, "Back To You." And Season 11's sixth place finisher, Colton Dixon, sees his latest at No. 17.

And now he can add his name to the list of "Idol" alumni that have scored No. 1s as well. Back in May, right when "American Idol" was wrapping up its 13th season, the combined alums listed an impressive 386 No. 1s (which includes airplay and sales charts across the Billboard chart spectrum). Although Danny Gokey wasn't on the list then, he can now add a No. 1 album (Hope In Front Of Me debuted at No. 1 on the Christian Albums chart) and single to the growing total.

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