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American Idol Alum Danny Gokey Engaged!

Danny Gokey, Leyicet Peralta sophiasheart.org

If you ask Danny Gokey, his best days are ahead of him.

Bouncing back after the tragic passing three years ago of his wife Sophia, the American Idol alum has announced he's headed down the aisle with girlfriend Leyicet Peralta.

Danny and Leyicet broke the engagement news on the website for Sophia's Heart, the nonprofit that the bespectacled country singer started in Sophia's memory. The pair said they're planning to swap vows in a ceremony set for late January 2012.

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"We are thankful for so many of the blessings God has given us," read a statement from the couple. "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 all."

The pair's announcement added that Danny's "thrilled to have found Leyicet who also shares his passion and desire to help children and families in need."

As such, the couple requested that all wedding gifts be in the form of a donation to Sophia's Heart.

On July 9, 2008, a month before he auditioned for Idol, Gokey's high school sweetheart underwent a routine operation for congenital heart disease, but died from complications.  A devastated Danny threw himself into his music, crediting Sophia for inspiring him.

Gokey, 31, subsequently appeared on the eighth season of American Idol, finishing third behind runner-up Adam Lambert and eventual winner Kris Allen. But the popular Fox talent competition helped land the Milwaukee native a record deal. His 2010 debut, My Best Days, peaked at No. 4 in Billboard's Top 200.

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